What organizations can learn from the CHU Sainte-Justine

It’s not a Christmas tale, but it could very well be. In 2009, I was approached by HEC Montréal’s Céline Bareil, who was taking part in a research project with CHU Sainte-Justine managers. They were facing difficulties with internal projects: Some had little management experience; many of the projects were running simultaneously and added to their daily tasks; and project benefits were often gained much later than expected.
Through my twenty-odd years of experience in change management, I have often come across this type of situation, which can affect the most solid and efficient organizations, regardless of their field, and even, as in this case, a leading internationally-renowned paediatric hospital.

By first becoming aware of the issues and then by agreeing to take up the challenge, I realized that we were facing a huge amount of work as a team. Brio enthusiastically embarked on this novel experience—an unparalleled collaborative effort with the CHU Sainte-Justine and Pôle Santé HEC Montréal. We set ourselves an ambitious goal: We wanted to develop an innovative decision-support system to guide managers and provide them with recommendations derived from our change management approach. I specifically remember what Lyne Beausoleil, one of the developers of the new expert system that has since been implemented, told me during one of our conversations: “Throughout our one-hundred year history, we had many successful projects, but we must also recognize that we faced difficulties and we do know that most of these were more often than not due to the human component.”

With Céline Bareil, associate professor and experienced researcher at HEC Montréal, we were able to develop an innovative solution to efficiently guide Sainte-Justine’s managers to help them carry out successful projects. We recently created a virtual coach to guide and support managing clinicians during the course of their projects. And the beauty of it all we soon realized was that the system is fully adaptable to a much wider use—beyond the health sector.

Our fruitful collaboration results in a triple win-win situation. Firstly, it provides a sustainable solution to meet the needs of the CHU Sainte-Justice as regards change management projects. Secondly, we made impressive strides to further develop our approach in change management. Thirdly, we built an extremely powerful and efficient expert system in change management that can be adapted to various sectors.
And why not say it? During the course of this initiative, the entire Brio team enjoyed incredibly magical and gratifying moments.

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