As organizational leaders, we work with an array of abstract concepts daily. Goals, objectives, teamwork, growth, leadership – these are all intangible, amorphous ideas that dramatically shape the success or failure of our businesses. Another, and arguably the most important, is corporate strategy.
You are familiar with goals. You know your objectives. But do you have a mapped-out strategy for achieving them?
At John Lynch & Associates, organizational strategy plays a role in everything we do to support our clients – from implementing advanced technology solutions to bringing teams together with better communication and improved patient outcomes.
Here is your guide to understanding corporate strategy and building a strategic plan for your business.
Strategy is often confused in practice with goals and objectives. However, they are not one and the same. Rather, your strategy is the path by which you are going to accomplish your goals and meet your objectives.
A strategy is your guide, your compass, and the answer to, “How do we achieve our mission and vision? How do we reach our full potential?”
In healthcare specifically, a strategy is an essential element that allows providers to achieve what they set out to do: create high-impact initiatives that serve as many people as possible and have a ripple effect to improve community health overall.
Goals and objectives are important. However, without a clearly defined strategy many companies miss their mark and spend thousands of hours and countless resources focusing only on projects and tasks while chasing an unguided goal.
Once you have a strategy implemented, you can naturally list out the steps that need to be taken in order to achieve your ultimate goal. Additionally, your strategy provides a framework for decision-making that allows individuals – both leaders and doers – to see how a decision was made and agree to the pathway thanks to the guiding strategy.
At John Lynch & Associates, when we begin working with a new client, such as a hospital or physician practice, we first determine if the organization has a strategy in place.
If so, is the strategy current? Is it complete? And is it serving the organization as it should?
If not, we work with executive leadership to rebuild the organization’s strategy. First, we determine what the mission and vision of the organization are and what impact the healthcare providers hope to have on the community.
Next, we work backwards by asking “How are we going to achieve that?” as many times as it takes to create the strategic pathway the entire organization must follow to get from where they are today to where they want to be.
Then, we develop a framework for decision-making to achieve the organization’s goals. The framework may involve board-level approvals or the CEO and governance structure.
To ensure the entire ship is steering in the same direction toward a shared goal, we then communicate the overarching corporate strategy, as well as the most relevant actionable steps, to the individual departments.
Our expert strategists then coach your teams on how to follow the corporate strategy to ensure organizational alignment. While many organizations have an overarching mission statement or values list, they often fail to map out how those visions are achieved in practice, all the way from the C-Suite to the billing department.
An effective corporate strategy is more than a plan on a piece of paper. In effective practice, a strategy is a mentality, a guide, and a system for maximizing success. Your corporate strategy should include:
By following and repeating this cycle, your corporate strategy will be in a constant state of action and optimization that will guide you straight to your desired outcomes.
Once you have your corporate strategy in place, there are two key pieces to protecting that strategy: communication and excitement.
Too often I see organizations with a strong, well thought-out, documented strategy… but it only lives on the CEO’s hard drive. Even the best strategy will do an organization no good if it is not communicated to the people who have the ability to bring it to life.
A successful strategy requires clear communication systems, maintenance and revision, meetings and collaboration, and effective leadership. Departmental and team leaders can march an organization toward success, showing the importance of the strategy by actively demonstrating accountability and follow-through.
The second aspect to protecting your strategy is showing excitement! Leadership, specifically the CEO for a corporate strategy, must continue to be passionate about the strategy and convey the importance of strategic alignment throughout the organization.
When the leaders of an organization walk tall and embody passion and enthusiasm for the organization’s shared mission, that positive energy is contagious.
Do you need help building and implementing your healthcare organization’s successful strategy? Get in touch with us and we will help you implement a system that will support you and your staff to do more great work for the public.
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