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SHSMD: 10 Tips for Strategic Planning

Anna Webster, for HealthLeaders Media, September 16, 2011

As healthcare organizations propel headlong into healthcare reform, making a plan for the future can seem daunting. But why should they bother with a strategic plan if the future is uncertain?

David Kantor, president of OH-based Kantor Consulting Group, has an answer. He shared it before an audience at the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) conference on Wednesday.

"Understand the uncontrollables and how they will impact your organization going forward. If you plan, you'll be able to get a consensus on allocation of scarce resources," he said.

Kantor asked the audience: "What is the burning issue you have with strategic plans?"
Answers from around the room indicated much grappling with how to:

•    Disseminate information all the way down to the front line
•    Have operational leaders take ownership of the planning process
•    Keep the strategic plan a living breathing document once it is finished
•    Help bridge the C-suite's vision to the rest of the organization

Crafting a strategic plan starts from the top down, starting with C-suite leadership.  It outlines what the organization as a whole wants to accomplish over a predetermined period of time, whether it be over three years, five years, or 10 years.

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