Rapid Strategic Planning…   A one-day consensus-building process with trustees, administration and key medical staff

Overview:  Strategic planning is vital to the long range success of the hospital.  Now more than ever, there needs to be alignment and consensus with hospital administration, the medical staff and the board about the direction in the future.  Many hospitals spend days and even weeks in detailed strategic planning.  The goals of this one-day session are both educational and strategic:

  1. All stakeholders will have a greater appreciation and understanding of the health care market. 
  2. There is consensus with the strategic business objectives of the hospital by the stakeholders. 
  3. As community ambassador for the hospital, the trustee is equipped with better representing the hospital to the community stakeholders.

A.  Meeting pre-planning: 

Prior to the retreat, the present strategic business objectives are discussed with the CEO and  management, usually involving several scheduled conference calls.  The specific agenda, list of attendees, and meeting content is developed based upon the hospital’s specific needs and situation.

B.  Typical one-day agenda:

1.  A didactic presentation to the attendees.  A review of today’s health care arena and its local implications – 2 hours

During this time I review the pertinent health care issues in the market both nationally and locally focusing on clinical, financial and structural integration.  Typical issues discussed are quality transparency, implementation of best practices, excelling at pay for performance, cost reduction strategies, basic risk management strategies, physician alignment opportunities, and hospital-system alignment options.   National best practices are showcased.  Environmental analyses may be presented.


2. The roles of the board, administration and medical staff in strategic planning- 30 minutes

Here I discuss the ground rules:  Strategic planning is the execution of the mission and vision in accordance with the values.  The goal for today is to develop consensus for 8-12 strategic business objectives that will successfully accomplish the mission and vision.  It is then the role of management, NOT the board, to take these objectives and develop specific strategies and metrics that can be regularly updated to the board.  The board then has tangible evidence of the accomplishment of these strategic objectives throughout the year.


3.  A brief SWOT analysis- 1 hour

During this time I facilitate a discussion determining the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, particularly as they will be applicable to the mission, vision and strategic objectives.


4.  Review of the Mission, Vision and Values  (if necessary)

5.  Review of the Strategic Business Objectives-  2-3 hours

This is the major focus of the meeting.  The current strategic business objectives are reviewed individually, taking into account our SWOT analysis and market information.  In a consensus-building process, the objectives are discussed and specific additions/ deletions are recommended.  During this time I use a strategic planning check list to make sure that all pertinent areas are covered. At the end, the strategic business objectives are agreed upon.  Management develops specific tactics and metrics to be presented at a later date.


6.  The Trustee as community ambassador-  30 minutes

The trustee has a dual role.  First, of course, is the oversight of the hospital.  Second is the role of community ambassador for the hospital.  Time is taken at the end of the retreat to reaffirm the positive accomplishments of the hospital.  The goal is to give the trustee 3-4 talking points to “brag” about the hospital. Consensus is built around these 3-4 issues and all attendees leave the meeting equipped to communicate these points top of mind to outside stakeholders. Thus, the session ends on a very positive and optimistic note.