The Only 5 Strategic Planning Objectives You’ll Ever NeedDecember 17, 2012 – One of the six reasons why strategic plans fail is lack of focus. Executives typically pile on more strategic planning objectives than are manageable, which requires an ever-increasing number of strategies and tactics to achieve. Management teams are crushed by the weight of all their objectives. It a recent survey of 150 hospital executives, 25% reported having from 11 to 20 strategic planning objectives and 27% admitted to having 21 or more. Twenty-one or more objectives? You’ve got to be kidding? What organization has the resources to chase 21 strategic planning objectives? (Strategic planning objectives, by the way, are defined as a quantifiable, measurable target, e.g. net income, patient satisfaction, core measure compliance, etc.)
Top Strategic Planning ObjectivesI am often asked what is the right number of strategic planning objectives. The answer? You should be able to count all of your strategic planning objectives on one hand. How many organizations achieve this level of focus. Not many. In the aforementioned survey, only 7% of organizations had five or fewer strategic planning objectives. Recently, I was hosting a national strategic planning webinar for the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development. Afterward, a participant asked me for my list of five strategic planning objectives (as if there were some doubt that such a list existed). Thus, I give them to you as I gave them to her, conveniently organized into pillars for those hospitals that have adopted such a strategy development sample:
- Safety: Decrease the number of AHRQ “never events” to zero
- Quality: Decrease inpatient mortality to zero
- Satisfaction: Increase patient satisfaction to 99th percentile
- People: Decrease turnover rate to zero
- Finance: Increase net margin to 20%
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