Address Disruption Head-On: 3 Guidelines for the Senior Housing C-Suite and Investors

The senior housing industry is facing disruption.

That’s the theme of this month’s series as we warn operations—small and large—that there’s a Silver Tsunami coming that will alter today’s senior living landscape.

But here’s another reality.

The senior housing niche is also facing low occupancy.

According to Senior Housing News, NIC has recently reported that assisted living occupancy has fallen to a new low of 85.7%.

Between today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges, you can’t settle for cutting resident services or patching up poor occupancy with short-term solutions, like discounts.

Now is the time to address industry challenges and future disruption head-on.

Now is the time to spark disruptive innovation.

Now is the time to radically transform how you meet customer needs.

And that requires superior leadership.

In this 5-part series on industry disruption, we’ve looked at the coming shift as well as the disruptive innovation that’s needed to successfully navigate market forces. In case you missed our previous articles…

Click here to read our first article.

Click here to read our second article.

Today, in the third article of this 5-part series, we’re sharing 3 guidelines for becoming a leader who champions innovative disruption, customer needs, and organizational change…

#1. Don’t Focus on Disruption and Senior Housing Innovation

The heart of innovative disruption

Now that may sound somewhat counterintuitive. After all, the whole point of this blog series is disruptive innovation, right?

Here’s what we mean: you aren’t going to be disruptive if you’re constantly focused on being innovative.

After all, as we explained in our last post on disruption, the heart of innovative disruption is to radically serve your customers’ needs in a way that’s disruptive.

In other words, put your focus on customers’ needs…not simply offering something new.

The best way to do that?

Start listening.

If you want to be a leader who addresses disruption head-on, you’ll need to listen in different and new ways. Here are a few tips to get you thinking outside the box:

  • Listen to what your mystery shop calls and in-person visits reveal. Consider what these say about the typical experience an adult child encounters when visiting one of your properties.
  • Listen to your team members. Get with your sales leaders, and ask what common questions or situations your leads experience. You might even contact your property outreach directors to see what information referral sources can provide.
  • Listen to what social media and review sites are saying. If you’ve received any complaints on social media or other review sites, take it seriously. If you aren’t sure (or have little data), consider sending out a lost-lead or post-tour survey.

#2. Take Time to Work on, Rather Than in, Your Business

When speaking with senior housing leadership, our CEO, Traci Bild, uses this phrase frequently. Like many leaders, she understands the importance of investing in strategic initiatives.

But working on your business is especially critical when it comes to leadership that turns industry disruption into an opportunity for innovation.

There are many ways to work on your business.

But here’s our tip for working on the challenge of industry disruption.

Start with a blank piece of paper.

Your goal is simple: clear your mind of distractions, and concentrate on the many ways to solve problems revealed during the listening process.

Jot down as many as you can…and don’t even think about what is feasible versus what isn’t.

Simply focus on solving the problem.

For more about working on, rather than in, your business, check out this video. Here, Traci explains how leaders can focus on areas that don’t impact their revenue.

Traci Bild

Click here to watch Traci address this topic.

#3. Harness the Power within Your Organization

Once you’ve brainstormed a number of possible solutions, it’s time to face disruption head-on…with the power of your team behind you.

No leader can solve problems on his or her own.

As Steve Jobs said…

Great things in business are never done by one person

The same is true for your senior housing operation.

You can’t address industry disruption without getting your entire organization involved, from C-suite to on-site concierge.

Start strategizing how you can harness the genius that’s already within your senior housing organization.

Get your leaders involved in finding practical solutions for radically addressing the customer needs you’ve uncovered. Here are a few practical tips:

  • At the leadership level…have an internal roundtable. Bring together your C-suite or fellow senior housing investors. Ask them to reimagine how your organization can make seemingly impossible solutions practical.
  • At the management level…identify leaders who have both the expertise and the authority to implement solutions. Organizational change may start with the C-suite, but you’ll need your regional sales directors to see any results. To hold properties accountable for meeting customer needs, we’d suggest involving your regional directors of operations as well.
  • At the property level…make sure your teams are buying into the changes. Consider holding an organization-wide conference to kick off your innovative initiatives. Hold meetings with your executive directors.

Becoming a leader that radically transforms how your company meets customer needs is rarely easy.

But it’s a critical part of executing innovation in the face of market forces you can’t control.

When you need a strategic partner to support your initiatives, rely on the Bild & Co. team. Here’s why…

We help you listen. At Bild & Co, we’re experts in listening. For instance, before we hold an internal roundtable, we’ll conduct everything from interviews with team members to mystery shops at communities. We use our listening skills to identify opportunities for change.

We help you find solutions. One-size-fits-all solutions are the opposite of our philosophy. At Bild & Co., we recognize the importance of customized, tailored solutions for individual operations.

We help you harness your natural talent. Our team understands the nuances of senior living talent and the role each team member plays in innovation that increases occupancy.

Let Bild & Co empower you to become the senior housing leader that sparks innovative disruption.

Let us help you see the challenges—and the solutions—that others don’t.

Request a complimentary strategy session with one of our team members, and discover our insights for your leadership.

Click here to book a time.

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