Developing a Vision in Health Care – Part 2

Health care organizations continue to struggle with having effective execution of their strategic plan.  Although well-intentioned, they often fall short of the goals that they set out to achieve.  Strategic planning is partially dependent on a clear, compelling vision and also dependent on identifying the “default future”.  David Logan and Steve Zaffron in the Three Laws of Performance discuss the idea that we all have a default future, which often is some small modification of the past.  This modification may be a little bit better, but just as easily could be a little bit worse.All health care organizations are looking for a breakthrough, usually in the culture.  They want to develop a culture of caring, or of safety, or of quality, or service, or some combination of such.  So the question that hounds health care organizations are can true transformational change happen?  I believe it can, but it requires discipline, courage, humility and strength to persevere. Jim Collins often talks about the need to develop a vision based on identifying core values and a core ideology.  In order to do this we need be intentional in discovering the values of those who work in the organization, since they will reflect their personal values into the organization.  For example, a worker in health care may often say they work in the organization because caring for people is a high value, another person may say that they are here for a paycheck.  Are the two values reflected here different, is one more important than the other? Identifying the real values in the statements will help bring out deeper more meaningful values that will connect with the workers you are interviewing.Not only do health care organizations need to identify values, but also understand their core ideology.  The core ideology defines the purpose of the organization.  In health care we often simplify this to “provide care to the people we serve.”  We may primp this up with pillars or goals, but the does the purpose connect with the people who work on the front lines.  Once true values are identified and core ideology is identified, now the health care organization can develop an “envisioned future” that is truly transformational.  This process requires a broad based team that has representation from many stakeholders

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