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.
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Securing board approval for a major new project can be a long and tricky process when the CEO proposing it isn’t sure which criteria trustees will use, and the board is equally uncertain what the yardsticks ought to be. At Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, N.Y., President and CEO Chandler Ralph asked her board to write down and agree on project evaluation criteria. In a two-hour workshop, trustees came up with 14 points that they now apply to every decision about whether to implement a new program.
As strategic planning becomes a more intense focus for hospital boards, lessons from publicly traded companies may be instructive.
Recently, I sat in a board meeting of a leading U.S. health system as trustees were discussing their strategic vision for the system, and how the rapidly changing health care field, marketplace and regulations were having a profound impact on its future.
The heart of your organization should be reflected in your mission and vision statements.
Carolinas HealthCare System’s Journey to Revamp Its Mission & Vision Statements to Better Represent the Heart of the Organization
The dashboard or “balanced scorecard” has become a staple of effective governance. Charts and numerical data provide a comprehensive picture of organizational performance. Here are some questions to assess whether your board’s dashboard is as good as it could be.
Evaluations and Assessments
The American Hospital Association’s report, Hospitals and Care System of the Future, describes a series of “must do” strategies and future core competencies hospitals will need as they transform themselves from first curve to second curve delivery systems, driven by a shift from volume-driven to value-driven payment systems.
This checklist poses questions about whether your board is following recommended practices for strategic planning.
See attached sample strategic planning policy.
With CEO support and opportunities for education, trustees can become better hospital leaders
A reason for being. An organization’s purpose or identity. An expression of what an organization believes it must be to best meet the needs of its stakeholders. These are descriptions of what we commonly think of as “mission.” Members of a health care organization’s board are responsible for governing in ways that help fulfill their organization’s mission. But what does that really mean? How does a hospital’s mission relate to effective governance?
This monograph covers the basics of strategic planning, including definitions of common terms, a description of the planning process and the characteristics of successful plans. It describes the board’s role in planning, including why plans fail, common weaknesses and how boards can support successful plan implementation.
Mapping the values and concerns of stakeholders against company strategy is one way to show where stakeholder concerns are aligned with current strategy and to create awareness of where risk or reward exist.