Strategy and leadership in health care

Copyright The Beckham Company


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Successful Strategic Plans

As any executive can attest, even great plans can end up gathering dust on a shelf. To move a strategic plan off the shelf and into action, we will help develop a strategic plan that:

Is inspired. The Strategic Plan will embody ambition and stretch. It should capture and empower the organization's aspirations. At The Beckham Company, we're convinced that strategic planning ought to be exciting. The future and the opportunities it holds are what excites.

Builds trust. There is no greater impediment to commitment than mistrust. Today, trust is probably the single most important challenge facing health care organizations. The relationship with physicians, nurses and other caregivers is particularly stressed. Participation in designing a pathway to a positive future is the best anecdote for this malaise. Participation in an open and invigorating strategic planning process provides such a pathway.

Communicates itself. The plan will be written in simple, straightforward language. A well thought out strategic plan doesn't require lots of explanation or interpretation. It is written in simple terms that anyone in the organization can read and understand. It relies on concepts and language that leaders can convey effectively and consistently. And it embodies a sense of excitement. It begins to take hold when it's always carried in the pocket of the CEO, the president of the medical staff, the vice president of nursing and the chairman of the board.

Fosters alignment and connection. A solid strategic plan focuses the organization to a unifying vision and a limited set of driving strategies. It creates a framework against which the entire organization can align its efforts and resources. Marketing plans, operating plans, facility plans, and medical staff development plans are unified and aligned by an effective strategic planning process. Budgeting becomes a forceful means of empowering the organization's vision rather than a disjointed annual event.

Provides a framework and foundation for implementation. Many strategic plans stay on the shelf because they don't have legs. Time spent building tactics and action plans is an investment in meaningful execution. So is the definition of personal responsibility, timing and budgets. A powerful strategic planning process says, "Here is where we intend to go." And then asks all levels of the organization to answer the question, "How can we best get there?"

Is focused. One of the greatest contributions a plan can make to the success of an organization is to focus resources to a limited set of high potential initiatives. The great challenge is to achieve a level of simplicity. Without such focus, the organization's strategic initiatives can become too confused and too diluted to have impact.

Provides direction. Every organization has critical choices to make. It will face strong competitors and demanding customers. The Strategic Plan will define how the organization will carve out a competitive advantage in delivering a differentiated stream of value.

Is widely supported. The planning team that creates the Strategic Plan will be oriented to support it because they have helped create it. By expanding participation, the groundwork is laid for wide organizational support and commitment. This will require communication of the plan and participation in its implementation. Throughout the process, the consultants will provide education and background related to the environment and to strategy development.

Is actionable and accountable. The Strategic Plan will provide mechanisms that make it possible to assess progress and performance. Plans that sit on the shelf are useless. The Plan will be designed from the onset to be implemented. Timing, responsibility and resources will be defined. Critical to moving the plan to action will be mechanisms to connect it with the daily work priorities of the organization.

Is continuously updating. A relevant Strategic Plan is continuously updated as opposed to being the result of periodic strategic planning processes. The Strategic Plan will be designed to be continuously up to date.

Since 1983, The Beckham Company has been helping health care's most successful hospitals and health systems develop strategic plans. Just as important, through our process and facilitation, we've helped restore trust, heal wounds, generate unity while ensuring implementation that generates exceptional market share and financial performance.

Whether you're considering developing your first strategic plan or updating your existing one, give us a call. We can bring a fresh, new perspective to your future.

"Leaders in every single institution and in every single sector...have two responsibilities. They are responsible and accountable for the performance of their institutions and that requires them and their institutions to be concentrated, focused, limited."

Peter Drucker