By Steve Moran

A few weeks ago we published an article titled “Brookdale, You Are Breaking My Heart” suggesting a change in direction and offering my services plus some other suggestions to make this happen. I did not, of course (though it seems weird to say “of course,” because if you were in a sinking ship, wouldn’t you grab a lifeline if offered?) really expect a response.

On the other hand …

I kind of get it. Human behavior, including mine, is such that when someone is critical, right or wrong, we are more likely to go defensive or hostile than embrace the criticism. Criticizing is perhaps the worst way in the world to get people to take your advice or to follow you.

After publishing this article, it occurred to me that maybe a better approach would be to share my dream for Brookdale.

My Dream …

My dream for Brookdale is that they would be the Southwest Airlines, In-N-Out Burger, WD-40, or Zappos of senior living. They would be the one company that every executive director wants to work for; the place where every older person wants to live out their last chapters; the place that family members know will give their family members the singularly best life for their loved one.

The place that the government looks at and says, “This is the model that we want every single senior living community to follow.”

More …

  • I want them to be 100% occupied in every single one of their communities, with a long wait list.
  • I want them to have every single staff position filled, with a long wait list of people who dream of working for Brookdale, similar to what happens with Google, Amazon, and Apple.
  • I want people to rave about their customer service like they do about Nordstrom and Ritz-Carlton.
  • I want other senior living communities to be constantly trying to recruit team members away from Brookdale because they are the best of the best.
  • I want shareholders to say, “I am so glad I bought that stock back a few years ago, because I have made so much money and at the same time have been part of something unique and world-changing.”
  • People would be flocking to senior living as a career choice, young and old.

If …

If my dream for Brookdale were to become a reality, every single senior living organization would be better today than it is (or at least nearly every one). NIC would be reporting stellar occupancy numbers each quarter. Capital providers would be going crazy, bragging about how smart they were to invest in Brookdale and, for that matter, every other senior living organization.

That’s my dream, and it is a dream that is not out of reach.