Board and Management Roles in Strategic Planning

Most boards and governance experts say boards should be meaningfully involved in shaping and ultimately approving the strategic plan and major decisions—but if they try to develop plans, they’re bordering on management. The tricky part is distinguishing meaningful involvement from development.

Idette Elizondo, a member of the University of Maryland Medical System’s corporate planning staff, has developed a model to illustrate what trustees and executives do at key stages.

The model below begins with the board’s approving the mission, vision and strategic goals. Typically, hospitals and health systems have three- to fiveyear strategic plans that are updated annually. As management executes the plan, the board reviews results at meetings and discusses external threats and opportunities.

Strategy development and execution are ongoing management responsibilities, but the board provides advice and perspective, enriching strategy with stakeholders’ views and experiences from other industries.

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