The 10 commandments of healthcare engagement

There has been considerable discussion in recent times about ‘local’ versus ‘global’ engagement strategy, or whether there is some kind of mystical balance of the two. Earlier this year Creation Healthcare was pleased to facilitate seminars in New York and London with leading global pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, during which the constraints and opportunities of global healthcare engagement strategy were discussed.

Creation Healthcare are long-time proponents of setting aside time to define an overarching global strategy; we are therefore sometimes asked by new clients, “Do you really think we should have a global engagement strategy?”

This is a great question, to which we (almost) always answer “Yes”.

Some may say, “What about the local nuances?”; “What about the language challenges?”; “What about the regulatory variations?”; “What about the different technology constraints in each region?”; and so on.

We certainly do understand these issues. With 30 consultants all over the world Creation Healthcare is well aware of the challenges facing each territory, and we are constantly increasing our local in-country knowledge in order to make the best recommendations for our global clients. As much as we often encourage global strategy, we also know that it is absolutely necessary to have a local, tailored strategy to suit each individual territory or brand.

It is also true that at a global and companywide level, there are inevitably some common guiding principles that can bring continuity and consistency to the way an organization communicates, presents the brand personality, and ultimately engages with people – even on an international scale.

Incidentally, if you are skimming this article to find the quick-fix, ‘give-me-the-ten-tips’ commandments, you may wish to pull out now.

The reason for the title of this article is that it describes an approach, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.

Let me explain using a ubiquitous metaphor. Most people in the world – regardless of their own personal religious belief, country of origin, or language – have heard of the so-called “10 commandments”. Indeed, quite a few people could list at least some of them from memory.

Interestingly, orthodox followers of the ‘Torah’ (as these books of laws are known) usually insist that there are actually 613 commandments all told, and that the 10 commandments are more of a ‘table of contents’ – a sort of cheat sheet for remembering the detailed laws and regulations.

Elsewhere, there is even a further distillation in to just two guiding principles. It is fair to say that in religious circles the 10 commandments have certainly permeated the human race over the past several thousand years, across millions of people in many languages and cultures.

We’ve found that this same concept also works for guiding an organization in healthcare engagement. Creation Healthcare maintains that it is possible to create ‘10 commandments’ which can be implemented globally, to bring new levels of (consistent, on brand) engagement.

Of course there really isn’t a single set of ‘10 commandments of healthcare engagement’ that would apply equally well to every company or organization, hence you will find no simple list here as a ‘take-away’.

Rather, each organization is uniquely different in its own right, with particular heritage, traditions, idiosyncrasies and ‘personality’. Therefore it makes perfect sense that each company should really develop their own global engagement strategy (and resulting 10 commandments).

Creation Healthcare can deliver a customized process to help you formulate your own global strategy 10 commandments; all you have to do is give us a call now.

Paul Grant

Paul Grant is Healthcare Engagement Strategist with global consultancy Creation Healthcare, where he leads digital behaviour research studies and advises healthcare clients on engagement strategies. He has been providing strategic insight solutions and professional services to the world's leading biopharmaceutical and healthcare organizations, helping them to find appropriate pathways to engagement within regulatory frameworks.