Case Study

How We Helped a Major Healthcare Association Innovate Their Most Profitable & Influential (New!) Revenue Stream

Situation: A major healthcare association’s traditional sources of funding had become significantly constrained due changes in regulations and a saturated membership market. Sponsorships were down, and dues were flat.

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

A preliminary NEWCO(™) analysis revealed that providing education across health-related markets (e.g., doctors, nurses, patients, families, hospital administrators) was a “hidden” treasure for this association. They did it well, made money when they provided programs, and had gained a reputation for being superlative providers of education. Yet, it had occurred as opportunistic, one-off offerings, rather than a concerted strategy.

As promising as this insight was, the company’s current business model (and culture) was largely 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.

The Catch: We enrolled employee leaders in conducting market research to find true needs in the market that they felt uniquely equipped to fill. It was a way to test our hypothesis and stay open to other possibilities.

The market research, conducted by employees, confirmed our hypothesis, but the insights now belonged to them. We developed a NEWCO(™) workshop, where 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 for health care education and their capability in this area. We seeded discussions where they envisioned how they could transform their one-off projects and “hidden treasures” 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's Way of Thriving Model™ provided insight for strategic growth, and it demonstrated the value of encouraging people 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.

Mini-Lessons: Asking for meaningful participation from target audiences produces more believable and implementable results. Consultants are often criticized for handing over strategies that are not practical or that tell the company what they already know. Third Angle takes a “teach em to fish approach” where we work with our clients to reach breakthrough value and learn processes for innovating, integrating, and adapting so they become stronger.