Sun Healthcare Group, Inc.

Case Study: Sun Healthcare Group, Inc.
Enabling Innovative Thinking on a Large Scale

The Business Challenge:
Sun Healthcare Group, Inc., a leading U.S. healthcare provider, wanted to build a more collaborative organizational culture that could implement new ideas quickly.

Business Solution:
Esprit Productions worked with, an innovative Web meeting software vendor, and Disney Institute (DI), the professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company, to create a learning experience for 430 Sun Healthcare managers.

Disney Institute gave the participants an inside out look at Epcot. They showed them how Disney fosters innovation and how focusing on the smallest details contributes to the overall positive experience. Following this field experience and using FacilitatePro collaborative meeting software, DI led several 90 minute brainstorming sessions. Session topics included how to build a more collaborative culture and how to implement new ideas more rapidly. The intent was to generate ideas that would not require lengthy approval cycles and the various business lines could begin to implement within 72 hours.

Almost 800 ideas were generated, consolidated, and prioritized using FacilitatePro software. The top eight ideas that received the most votes for implementation were given to each business line, where another complete process of brainstorming and prioritizing took place. Each business line then selected two ideas and brainstormed the recommended action plan for implementation.

Supporting this approach was an analysis comparing the 2008 Sun Healthcare meeting to the recently completed 2009 event. We looked at the number of minutes in the general sessions and breakouts and how the content was presented. Results supported our belief that traditional one-way PowerPoint presentations should be less prominent; attendees really value being an active part of the conference as well as contributors to the content development process.

As seen in the following charts, total minutes of PowerPoint presentation were cut in half. In its place, we increased the number of interactive presentation methods such as brainstorming, added a field trip outside the hotel, and incorporated active participation during general session presentations.

As a direct result of these changes, attendee survey responses were significantly improved over the prior year and several dozen attendees said it was the best and most productive conference they ever attended.

Business Results:
In two days, Sun’s management team was able to generate an enormous amount of creative ideas, surface the most promising ones, and begin to develop specific plans to achieve them. In addition, the total experience and their increased active participation served as a catalyst for cultural transformation. They left with the tools that would allow them to look at problems in new ways, challenge themselves to provide better customer experiences, own problems until they were resolved, and move forward knowing that sometimes it is the little things that make for satisfied customers.

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