Strategic planning is the process of identifying long-term goals and initiatives, developing an action plan to reach those objectives, and assigning responsibilities and timelines. It is also a means of providing motivation and fostering a culture of critical thinking and optimization for organizational growth. Ultimately, strategic planning can create a sense of ownership for all employees and empower them to feel responsible for reaching company-wide goals.
Strategic goals should be based on the current reality of your business and the potential future state. It’s important to consider the resources and capabilities available, whether those be financial, human or physical. It’s a good idea to engage finance and operational staff in the strategic planning process to ensure that they are aware of the implications of changes to the business model or implementation of new strategies.
When strategic plans are implemented, they produce results. These outcomes may be directly aligned with strategic goals or they may diverge. Regardless, it’s crucial to monitor the results of your strategy and ensure that they are aligned with the desired outcome. This will allow you to make timely adjustments and minimize the impact of unintended consequences.
A strategic plan should also provide a framework for decision making for your practice and maximize your options for influencing your environment. Without it, your practice might become bogged down with tactical decisions and unable to move forward from crisis mode. This is especially true in healthcare, where dramatic changes in reimbursement, technology and the marketplace are constantly challenging us to adapt.
Once a strategic plan is in place, it’s important to communicate and engage the clinical and administrative staff so that they understand how their day-to-day work supports the strategic vision of the organization. When employees have a connection between company-wide objectives and their own work, they are more likely to take the extra step to ensure that all goals are met.
A great way to achieve this is by implementing an action plan that clearly outlines all the steps involved in achieving long-term strategic goals. To be successful, it is important to set realistic timeframes and measurable metrics for accomplishing each goal. In addition, the use of tools like strategy mapping can help to visualize all your goals and their corresponding tactics. When everyone knows their role and can see how it connects to the overall strategic vision of the practice, they will be more engaged and excited to contribute to its success. Moreover, they will be more committed to the success of their own career progression within the company. This can be a tremendous morale booster during times of organizational change.