July 2005

Scripting Helps Leaders Communicate About CHI Connect

The technique of “scripting” is helping human resource and financial leaders across Catholic Health Initiatives communicate the benefits of CHI Connect to their employees and leadership teams. CHI Connect is Catholic Health Initiatives’ system-wide program for managing key business processes in human resources, payroll and finance as well as supply chain.

In conjunction with Catholic Health Initiatives’ National Conference for Human Resource and Payroll Leaders, held May 16–18 in Chicago, a group of market-based human resource leaders and chief financial officers met to learn about scripting. “Within organizations that have successfully launched large-scale change processes, scripting has emerged as a technique to equip individuals with change management skills,” said David Black, vice president of leadership development for Catholic Health Initiatives. “There are many questions and issues surrounding the implementation of CHI Connect. While scripting doesn’t provide all the answers, it does help leaders address questions by first presenting the benefits of the program.”

A scripting exercise involves writing out a way to begin to respond to questions while in the process of initiating change. “It’s not about rote answers, but about getting the discussion started in a positive manner,” said Black. “For example, a department supervisor might ask a human resources leader, ‘Why can’t human resources continue to process the paperwork for promotions? Why do I have to do it through CHI Connect?’ The human resource leader can start with a scripted response, such as, ‘I’m glad you asked. CHI Connect is going to do for us what ATMs did for banking — giving easy access to the information you need to complete a process, such as a promotion, with a much lower error rate than paper-based systems. If you like, I would be happy to demonstrate how convenient CHI Connect is by helping you process a promotion on your computer.’ That gets the conversation off on the right foot. Scripting the response beforehand enables leaders to deliver it naturally. It also helps all of the leaders within an organization deliver a consistent, service-oriented response.”

The human resource and financial leaders who attended the session in Chicago have taken their knowledge of scripting back to their organizations to develop scripts that suit their specific needs. “As leaders within Catholic Health Initiatives, we are all accountable for the successful implementation of CHI Connect,” said Rick Tolson, vice president of human resources for Saint Joseph HealthCare, Lexington, Ky. “Part of our accountability is having a proactive, clear, accurate and uniform message about CHI Connect. One of the best ways to do that is scripted communication that generates confidence and explains the value CHI Connect will bring to our organization.”
Black noted that scripting must be a collaborative process among those who will use the script. “Scripts can’t be imposed,” he said. “An individual must have ownership of a script and truly believe it in order to deliver it with sincerity. That’s why our local management teams are developing scripts related to CHI Connect that will work for them.”