“It’s about culture, not service.” This is the overriding theme to all 10 chapters in this presentation by a renowned hospital marketer. Fred Lee has spent nearly his entire career helping hospitals improve their environments, and thus their bottom lines, by showing how the Disney empire responds to the same issues that are seen in medical facilities (minus the blood and disease, of course). Reading this work is akin to attending a multiple-day seminar with the author, and in fact, is a direct result of his efforts at presenting these concepts to rooms full of people.
As the topics move from “Redefine Your Competition” to “Measure to Improve, Not to Impress,” and “Close the Gap Between Knowing and Doing,” the reader learns the differences between satisfaction and loyalty, leadership and citizenship, accountability and responsibility, and is then shown how these differences all add up to being able to provide an unparalleled experience to a sick person and his or her family. And yes, the term is experience. A visit to the hospital is not a trip to Disneyland, but Lee is adamant that even a person in intense physical pain can have a positive memorable experience if the health care team chooses to provide one.
The best part about this book is that although it is written for hospital workers and administrators, it has application and sound counsel for any organization that deals with people. The principles are not exclusive to the health care fields; in fact, Lee draws as much from his few years as a Disney cast member as he does from his decades of working with a variety of hospitals in a multitude of markets. His concepts are very easily understood and his insights into basic human nature are profound.
The prose is gentle and conversational, without any kind of underlying “I told you so” attitude that is prevalent in so many other management texts. A little more attention by an editor would have helped with the few instances of misspelled words, grammar gaffes and so forth, but those did not take much away from the reading experience. Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable and informative work, and I highly recommend it to anyone in any kind of leadership position within a company, a community group or a church.