US Oncology, the nation's largest provider of cancer care services, is a health care powerhouse with a visionary executive team. In 2001, the team put together plans to transition from being a company that delivered care to patients to being a company that delivered cancer care services to oncologists. For US Oncology's 8,000 employees, such a change would be dramatic and, potentially, unsettling. However, with hundreds of thousands of patients depending on them and Wall Street carefully scrutinizing the Company's performance, it was important that employees embrace the change.
The solution? A system-wide "open door policy" designed to encourage frank face-to-face communication for any employee who sought information. Of course, the company's leadership wasn't able to be everywhere at once, but Dan worked closely with the corporate communications team to feature corporate leadership as message trainers, which empowered the Company's front line managers to quickly and effectively communicate with the rank and file.
After being briefed by their super-charged local management, it was business as usual for employees throughout the US Oncology network. Wall Street was impressed, too. Six months after the announcement, US Oncology's stock was up nearly 50 percent from pre-announcement levels in response to gains in productivity, revenues and earnings.