Meet the Collective: Hi, Alison.
Meet the Collective is our series highlighting the great people who make up Collective Health. Today, we’re sitting down with Alison Worthington, our Chief Marketing Officer.
Where are you from?
I am from Corvallis, Oregon, a small university town. Growing up in a small town, all I wanted to do was see the world. So, I traveled for work and pleasure to over 40 countries (Angkor Wat, Capetown and Italy were a few of my favorites) and lived in four (Singapore and Sydney the longest).
What happened in your career that led you to Collective Health?
Early in my career I worked at Coca-Cola in an entrepreneurial group focusing on transforming the business with healthier food and beverage innovation. My favorite project was launching an affordable nutrition drink in South Africa. We worked with doctors and the World Health Organization to clinically prove how the vitamin enhanced drink could help kids grow healthier. Leveraging Coke’s distribution network and relationships with NGOs and governments, we built a mission-based business model to sell the product at cost so parents could afford to keep their kids healthy without a government handout.
On a personal level, my mom fought Stage 4 cancer twice, and I watched my parents painstakingly navigate the healthcare system to get her the care that saved her life. Fortunately, she had good insurance, but as we know, not everyone does. Coming from companies that offer robust employer-sponsored benefits like Microsoft, Starbucks and Coke, when I started my own business I recognized the challenges of navigating and paying for it on my own. I was excited to learn about the potential Collective Health’s unique technology platform and customer centric approach could have on the health of growing companies, people and their businesses.
What excites you most about where Collective Health is going?
I find the convergence of consumer and tech fascinating. I think that the human-centered, technology platform Collective Health has built can truly change the healthcare experience for the better. With the pandemic, we’ve seen how huge digital transformation can change consumer and industry behavior, and how technology like ours can not only improve an experience but also make it scalable. I very much believe in the notion that we need to make healthcare for the individual more human and easier to navigate. And at Collective Health, our platform is uniquely poised to contribute to better health outcomes.
What’s one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career?
In a high growth environment like Starbucks, I learned that this notion of servant leadership culture was critical — good ideas come from everywhere across the organization when you are growing, and great leaders help listen, identify and scale those ideas.
How would you say technology can work better in healthcare?
Technology gives companies the ability to anticipate the needs of the end user. Technology should make healthcare as seamless as possible so that we don’t even know it’s there. I’m impressed by brands that leverage tech to build a more human, personalized experience like Slack, Stitchfix, Netflix, Strava, Airbnb, Spotify. For example, we all love how Netflix can tell you where you left off in a show or make suggestions based on previous things you’ve watched. Similarly we can bring that same level of curation to health care with our intuitive technology and data to improve health outcomes at a micro and macro level.
How do you think about helping a brand deliver on their value and promise while also communicating their vision?
Articulating and staying true to your north star is critical. Equally important is translating that purpose into meaningful proof points in the product and customer experience. We have such a strong founder story and vision here at Collective Health. Now, we have an opportunity to crystalize our value story and clarify how we translate it for different constituents. In order to do that, you have to ground your brand, product and communication in the customer’s needs and desires. Customer endorsement is the most valuable marketing — I am eager to leverage the voices from our customers and members to enrich and scale our marketing.
What drew you to CH leadership?
Everyone I meet here has authentic passion for what they do. I have also noticed a strong commitment to developing people and their talents. I see the visionary servant leadership, similar to what I loved at Starbucks, and the potential to make an impact are what drew me here. I was drawn to Collective Health’s mission, the product, and the unique value it brings our customers and members. We have incredibly impressive metrics around NPS and customer satisfaction and I’m excited to tap into that voice.
What’s your favorite quote?
I have a few ….
Team: “Collective action works …. To change everything you need everyone.” – Greta Thunberg
Servant leadership: “A leader is someone who takes accountability for finding potential in people and processes. Daring leaders work to make sure people can be themselves and feel a sense of belonging. — Brene Brown
Focus and Priorities: If you have more than 3 priorities, you have no priorities. — Jim Collins, Good to Great
What’s your favorite show?
Schitt’s Creek got me through the pandemic. I was impressed how the Levy father/son team creatively weaved strong, empathetic character development with humor.
Hidden talents or lack of talents?
Good sense of direction. If lost I can usually find my way back to my starting point. One time I was stranded on Fraser Island (the world’s largest sand island in Australia) and somehow found my friends’ campsite in the middle of nowhere with the help of some fellow travelers and a good off road Jeep. I’m a creative cook, so I have had some real masterpieces, but also some epic fails. I get frustrated when I mix up people’s names, but always remember conversations and faces.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
Either skiing, hiking or bike riding. Also love a good dinner party and will be ready to host again when we can.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How does that inform what you do today?
I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to travel around the world to be where the action was so I could write amazing stories. I loved editing my school paper, but when I did an internship for a local newspaper, I realized I didn’t want to just read or write the news, I wanted to be part of the news and make a bigger impact on the world. I found marketing tapped into my love for the art of communication and connecting a story or a product to people’s interests and needs in a meaningful way.
Anything else we should know about you?
I have twin daughters in college who love outdoor adventure, sports and travel as much as I do. Now that I’m a free bird I have some bigger travel plans. Looking forward to international travel opening up again.
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