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Change Leadership in the Face of Uncertainty: Dos and Don’ts for the Senior Living CEO


Change leadership is challenging for an important reason.

You’re reinventing your senior living operation…based on a future you and your team can’t fully predict.

If you’re a senior living CEO, that’s a bit unnerving.

You know that disruption is coming to the senior living industry. You know it’s time to make the shift. You’re championing change…but you don’t know all the variables the future holds.

While it’s a bit daunting to realize that today’s decisions will impact tomorrow’s occupancy, the good news is…

Effective change management isn’t about predicting the senior housing market in 10 years.

It’s about assessing potential developments and then executing a strategic, actionable vision that’s based on what you can predict.

If you’re a senior living CEO and change management seems challenging, keep on reading. We’re sharing our tips for leading your organization…no matter what the future holds.

Don’t Focus on the Unknowns

don't focus on unknowns

According to Maudlin Economics, the number of Baby Boomers over 65 will surpass 50 million in 2025.

Between now and then, there are a lot of unknowns. But instead of focusing on unforeseen competitors or uncertain healthcare developments, here’s what you should do…

Focus your change leadership on what you do know.

For instance, you know enough about Baby Boomer preferences to realize that a message that communicates bad food and bingo necessitates a complete culture overhaul…or a sales process that doesn’t service customer needs requires radical change.

Get busy addressing the gaps in your growth strategy that you know about.

Do Translate Your Vision into Actionable Goals

Focusing on the unknowns is one pitfall.

But so is change leadership that instantly reacts to an uncertain future—proposing instant execution of massive overhauls and using sweeping terms that overwhelm your teams.

It’s true. Change leadership involves high-level initiatives, strategic planning, and a big-picture view of where you’re at versus where you want to be.

But always remember that not every team member speaks C-suite language. Your regionals require a bit more granular information—your site-level leaders need it even more.

To help your team achieve success in a new era of senior housing, be careful how you communicate your vision. Here are three important principles to keep in mind…

  1. Clearly define your goal in terms your team can understand. We’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Be quicker to say, “Our goal is to generate 8% more leads” than “We will revolutionize our lead generation process.”
  2. Ensure your team is equipped. Your portfolio can’t achieve growth if it doesn’t have the resources (or a process) for occupancy growth. For instance, your change leadership will fall flat if one community uses one method for tours while another property has an entirely different approach.
  3. Break big goals into smaller ones. Don’t force your teams to execute sweeping changes. Instead, translate your big vision into manageable goals for your regionals and on-site teams.

Don’t Look for Short-Term Gains

Let’s face it.

play the long game

It’s important that you don’t respond to an uncertain future by chasing after every shiny object.

Shifting your organizational culture or implementing a growth infrastructure doesn’t happen overnight. Achieving growth means forgoing short-term wins and focusing on establishing a foundation for long-term success.

Don’t just take our word for it.

Check out this research published in the Strategic Management Journal where researchers Caroline Flammer and Pratima Bansal found “causal evidence that imposing long‐term incentives on executives…improves business performance.”

Once you initiate an organizational shift, prepare to see that change through.

Do Get Help for Your Change Leadership Initiatives

As a senior housing CEO, the responsibility for change leadership ultimately falls on your shoulders.

It’s on you to increase occupancy, improve ROI, and ensure a strong portfolio of financially healthy properties.

But that doesn’t mean that you, or your management teams, are alone when it comes to top-line growth.

If you…

  • Know you need to reinvent your sales process but don’t have a clearly defined system
  • Find it difficult to bridge the gap between annual goals and actual growth
  • Suffer from senior living turnover, overwhelmed regionals, and panicking properties

…don’t face your challenges on your own.

It’s no sign of weakness to recognize that your team needs support for adapting to future market changes. For instance, check out this video below where Traci explains how to determine if your regional manager needs help.


Click here to watch the video.

At Bild & Co, we’re experts in change management that leads to increased revenue, improved occupancy, robust ROI, and a sustainable system for long-term growth.

Our proprietary system is rooted in the timeless principles of relationship building—providing your operation with a strong foundation for an uncertain future and the coming Silver Tsunami.

Let us empower your change leadership initiatives; we have the expertise to take your vision for growth…and execute the difficult work of implementation.

It all starts with a call to discuss your opportunity and your challenges with one of our senior housing experts.

Find guidance when you book a time to talk with one of our team members.

Closing Your Senior Living Revenue Gap Is A Phone Call Away.

Contact Bild & Co to grow your
occupancy now at (800) 640-0688