Case Study

Creating A New Revenue Stream Within A Major Healthcare Association

Situation: A major healthcare association’s traditional sources of funding had become significantly constrained due changes in their regulations that caused limited partnerships and sponsors, as well as a small and highly saturated target market, stalling the influx of new dues and incomes. 

Third Angle was brought in to consult with the board and executives to determine a new line of business and new revenue source that made sense monetarily while remaining in alignment with the mission of the organization.

Innovative Actions: From experience, we knew that strategy alone would not guarantee success.  Rather, execution and the employees’ “service culture” needed to be seeded and primed in order to embrace the new business.  

To create this level of business innovation, we engaged employee teams in a discovery process to identify unmet market needs and underutilized Hidden Treasures related to their internal capabilities. 

Third Angle designed a treasure hunt that sent key formal and informal leaders out to interview people inside and outside of healthcare about the most pressing, unmet healthcare needs and frustrations. We did not overwhelm them with homework. Rather, we provided tools and coaching to support their learning about their market research, encouraging ample analysis and synthesis of both the quantitative and qualitative data. 

We utilized The NEWCO Map™ as the engine to analyze and synthesize the organization’s financial data, project history, customer feedback data, and we incorporated findings from interviews with internal and external stakeholders.  We asked the teams to cross-check our NEWCO Map™ to verify findings. 

From an early review of multiple sources of data, our Third Angle team developed a working hypothesis that “translating the various complexities of healthcare into understandable and actionable information” would emerge as a top market need (and one the association had been meeting without even realizing it).  However, we left the final conclusion open to the research. 

Sure enough, the recurring theme from the market research teams was one of complexity.  The key business opportunity was simple: whoever could make the complexity of healthcare simpler to understand and easier use would be the most successful. Products and services along these lines would be gladly purchased from a wide variety of buyers, even competitor organizations! 

Our client had built an understated capability. Through education and publications they enabled physicians, nurses, patients, families, hospitals, and other players in the healthcare ecosystem to take very complex information about health and transform it into understandable, actionable information. This valuable insight aided in critical decision-making, collaboration, quality, safety, and efficacy of care - all of which are key performance indicators in the industry. 

The Catch: As promising as this insight was, the company’s current business model (and culture) was entirely based around providing services to dues-paying-members, and garnering “sponsorship of events” along the way.  Even though these avenues were now severely limited, we knew we needed to galvanize the board, leadership team, and especially the employees to have their own “A-Ha!” moment around a shared vision and new business model for the future.

Through a NEWCO Map™ workshop, we guided board members, executives and employee leaders in connecting the dots. Using various snapshots of the NEWCO Map™, decision-makers and implementers alike recognized the demand, and began comprehending how they could transform their one-off projects and “hidden capability” into a whole new business. They also saw how this business of healthcare education fit with their mission of member and public education. 

There was unity, enthusiasm, and commitment to building an infrastructure to handle increased education volume and to “let go” of some of the other activities that were labor intensive and no longer serving the mission. The new business model still called for excellent member and customer service, a point of brand and cultural pride.

Growth & Value: The Third Angle Way of Thriving Method™ provided not only insight for strategic growth, but it also highlighted the value of encouraging the members who most needed to decide and execute become a part of building the insight. They owned the idea as part of their core mission and culture, as well as the path to growing and sustaining financial viability and reputation. Today, the business of health care education has become the association’s primary source of revenue and reputation, reaching across a variety of markets.