Strategic Planning

While helping organizations with strategic planning consulting, ZIA has:

  • Conducted and documented interviews of health care thought leaders in support of strategic planning efforts for a variety of medical device and information services companies.
  • Developed a differentiated disease management program for a specialty health company to complement and seamlessly integrate with their existing Wellness and Prevention program
  • Provided best practices bench-marking and culture change support for a health services client in a company turn-around.
  • Provided assistance with venture capital funding, business development and strategy formulation for several early stage healthcare companies.
  • Conducted a large-scale real-time strategic planning process for an urban children’s hospital that included key stakeholders from all areas of the hospital system.

Here’s some information about how ZIA looks at and implements strategic planning.

The Typical Way Healthcare Does Strategic Planning Must Change

Based on the world’s present economic, political, and social environment, strategic planning as we have done it in the recent past must change. Why? If we keep on doing strategic planning without adequate consideration of these conditions, healthcare organizations will flounder. Unfortunately, most healthcare organizations do not even know how to identify these conditions, let along what to do about them.

Large-Scale Strategic Planning Is More Than Numbers!

In your organization’s strategic planning session, you need to identify:

  • The need for a planning-to-plan team in all strategic planning endeavors, bar none.
  • The assessment of the four levels of uncertainty based on our downturned economy and matching the strategy to the level.
  • The primary decision-making parameters—whether you have 10 stakeholders in the session or 1,000.
  • The prioritization processes for decision-making.
  • The parameters for participant selection.
  • How to handle executives’ anxieties associated with “giving away the store” when large numbers of stakeholders are engaged.
  • Use of real-time methods to integrate assessment, intervention, action, and results all within a one-to-two day period.

Does Your Healthcare Organization Know How to Assess Its Level of Uncertainty?

While I continue to incorporate some of the benchmarks for successful strategic planning I have always used with my clients, I have added a significant twist—understanding the level of uncertainty that affects future productivity.

Levels of Uncertainty & Methods Used to Arrive at Appropriate Strategies

This strategic planning process is based on the work of many researchers (e.g. Courtney; Boin, McConnell, & Hart; Wheatley). Using a large-scale, “diagonal organizational slice” approach, I have synthesized the research of Courtney into the following actions:

  • Level 1 uncertainty—A clear enough view of the future:
    •  Porter’s Five Forces analysis
    • Critical market research
    • Benchmarking “like” and “unlike” industries
  • Level 2 uncertainty—Alternate futures:
    • Decision trees
    • Scenario planning
    • Assessment of how each potential strategy alters the probability of each scenario
    • Benefits of each scenario
  • Level 3 uncertainty—range of futures:
    • Level 2 methods plus the following:
    • Integration of experiential “business/organizational judgment” variables
  • Level 4 uncertainty—True ambiguity:
    • Work “backwards” to what you believe about the future to support your strategy
    • Use of analogies
    • Integration of key market indicators variables
    • Work “backwards” to what you believe about the future to support your strategy

Potential Results for Your Organization

  • Incubate the most relevant knowledge and experiences of your healthcare teams
  • Develop the most appropriate core competencies
  • Use “uncertainty stressors” to increase productivity
  • Incorporate the diversity of multiple stakeholders to better understand:
    • What is going on,
    • What might happen next, and
    • What it means to them.
  • Identify key outcomes linked to critical factors of success.
  • Improve your patient metrics scores that result in increased patient safety and service, improved organization and team performance, and a more robust bottom line.

Ready for your organization to look ahead?

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