The Importance of Optimising Your Strategic Planning Process


The Importance of Optimising Your Strategic Planning Process

“Strategy is style of thinking, a conscious and deliberate process, an intensive implementation system, the science of insuring future success.” Pete Johnson

With the advent of consumerism making healthcare an increasingly more complex market, it is important companies make progress toward the initiatives that they've determined to be most meaningful. To work under a strategic planning method, that offers checks, balances, necessarily accountability and long-term sustainability.

Whether you're a smaller organization or global giant, it is vital to focus and prioritize efforts on those initiatives offering the highest value. These will drive your goals, which will in turn support your vision and ultimate destination.

A strategic plan is necessary, so you can define not only what your company stands for, but where and how you compete. Moreover, it defines your goals and resources - as well as the resources to attribute to them. After all, we don't have an endless budget that can race after endless distractions, in the form of cool new initiatives.

Underlying a strategic plan is the importance of diversifying your bet. That is, to spread your goals, initiatives, and resources across a number of well-selected investments of time, money, and people. It may even be different products, services, and timing points along your journey.

These days, more and more employees, leaders and consultants have fresh ideas. The problem is knowing which ones are going to serve the organization the best. After all, you don't want to quickly dismiss what would be a cash cow winner, while putting spending good money after bad on investment and resource draining slugs.

Smart strategic planning means creating a vetting process that team(s) can embrace. To recognize your strongest competencies, how they will lead the company toward its vision and mission, as well as creating clear filters to separate initiatives that fit - and don't fit the model.

Generate your ideas and initiatives. But have a filtering system that allow you to clearly understand which are best to pursue.

Perhaps those filters are based on resource, budgets, or other defining metrics. But you must have them in place, so that your team has a clear process, which it can apply uniformly.

One thing is for are going to need to make sure that your strategic planning process also takes into account the competition. When reviewing and analyzing the environment, make sure to use SWOT and Porter's 5-forces analysis - to get the strongest themes to compliment your initiative choices.

Because you can have the right initiative that lines up with your competencies and mission - but poor execution due to falling short on market analysis. Billions have been lost on not properly crafting, implementing, and executing upon strategic planning. In the ever-changing healthcare world, companies cannot afford to get this one wrong - over the short or long term.

Once you've found the right fit of initiatives to pursue, it is vital to assign the right resources. This is where upon matching selected initiatives to mission, vision, and goals, you have the right organization structure - namely job roles, responsibilities, the flow of information, and the rules & policies overlying them. This will lead into selecting the right resources to execute upon well-selected company initiatives.

Make sure you have created or selected the right metrics and reporting. All facets of executing upon initiatives must be tracked, and individuals held accountable for their efforts and results. Remembering always that resources can be shifted or moved, according to the current needs coming from the 'rudder' known as the strategic plan.

Of great importance is that organizations remain ongoing with their strategic planning process. This could be yearly or even as often as quarterly. But competitive companies in competitive industries cannot afford to sit on their laurels - even if they are executing well on their strategic plans and initiatives.

Pay attention to the importance of removing confirmation bias. Often, you have leaders you have invested themselves and their teams into initiatives that either were not thought out well - or should have been phased out with the proper ongoing strategic planning.

Some strong historical examples here are Electronic Arts, JC Penney, Blackberry, and Kodak. These organizations failed respectively, in strategic planning due to:

  • creating a 'profit-first' culture
  • choosing the wrong pricing strategy
  • selling to the wrong customers, and
  • 'starving the kids'

Lastly, I want to emphasize that strategic planning is ultimately only as good as the leaders, managers, and teams who create, implement, execute upon, and manage it. This holds especially true for the facet of execution.

As the CEO of TSMC, Morris Chang once put it:

Without strategy, execution is aimless...and without execution, strategy is useless.

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Dr. Steve Ambrose

Healthcare Guru

Dr. Steve Ambrose is a Sales & Business Development Expert, specializing in consumer-based engagement & growth for healthcare companies. He is the Host of RED HOT HEALTHCARE, a top business podcast with health industry leaders and influencers. He also is the co-founder of the newly-released WALK THE RIDGE movement - for improving communicative civility. He holds a Doctorate in Chiropractic, Cum Laude Honors from Life University, and recently completed a Leadership Executive Program at the prestigious UCLA Anderson School of Management. He can be reached by emailing: [email protected]


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