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Revisit Your Strategic Plan In Three Steps

June 4, 2020

Ashley Buehnerkemper

revisit your strategic plan

COVID 19: Conduct a Strategic Review of Your Practice: Revisit your Strategic Plan

When it comes to reopening your practice and determining how best to help your practice adapt to our new normal, a strategic review of your dermatology practice can be tremendously helpful. In particular, as you look to the future, set time aside to revisit your strategic plan. Doing so can help you ground your current choices in a larger framework. Let’s take a closer look in three steps:

  1. Start with your problem statement and organizational values.
  2. Use guiding questions and big decisions.
  3. Explore convergence to find your hedgehog.

Start with your problem statement and organizational values

If you didn’t use a problem statement when you first crafted your strategic plan, that’s okay, as you can still use one now in revisiting your strategic plan. Similarly, using organizational values, especially as codified in your mission statement and vision statement, can help ensure that your strategic plan fits with your other larger organizational guides.

For instance, when VitalSkin Dermatology recently embarked in strategic planning, one of our first steps was ensuring we had the right problem statement: “The challenge at hand is to define a market strategy in the dermatology and aesthetic practice management space that differentiates us from large physician-owned and private equity-owned group practices and provides a compelling value proposition to our partner physicians.” In that problem statement, you can see the different issues or potential issues we needed to address in our strategic plan. Developing our problem statement in this way allowed us to identify those strategic choices which would let us to best work through uncertainty to create and capture value.

Guiding questions and big decisions

After you craft a problem statement, your next step may be to identify big decisions. (Identifying those big decisions may also help you refine your problem statement, as well.) Of course, it can be difficult without the benefit of hindsight to determine which decisions are the big decisions.

To address that aim, you may want to ask guiding questions that review how COVID-19 could impact your practice, such as the following questions, aimed at your customer focus and your market focus:

  1. Customer-focused: Which customers should we serve? How can we best protect and serve them? Which services should we offer them? Which geographies should we serve?
  2. Market-focused: Which services can give us a competitive advantage? Which geographies are underserved? How can we create a market niche? What timeline should we use in rolling out choices?

Your answers to those questions can tie in with your mission statement, vision statement, and organizational values, as well—and you may find that if they do not, it may be time to revisit those organizational guides to ensure everything you do as a business is driven by the same strategic plan and values.

However, assuming that your answers to those questions align with your organizational values, those questions may help you answer the three biggest questions you can ask in crafting your strategic plan.

Convergence and finding your hedgehog

Jim Collins suggests in Good to Great that a great strategic plan answers three questions:

  1. In which expertise or service can you be in the world?
  2. What connects to your passion?
  3. What drives your economic engine?

Collins suggests that if you can find answers to each of those three questions that converge, you may have a compelling and winning strategy—a narrative that can drive your organization. He refers to that winning strategy as a company’s hedgehog.

You may have noticed that our answers to each of those three questions here at VitalSkin Dermatology converge and focus on our partner physicians. Our relationship with our partner physicians is where we 1) believe we can be best in the world; 2) are most passionate; 3) see our economic engine’s power. We have found our hedgehog.

In your dermatology practice, what is your hedgehog? If you can review your strategic plan with those three questions in mind, you may be surprised how well it can simplify your decision-making process as you explore how to best reopen in a way that best serves you, your patients, and your business.

Need help setting your strategic plan? Let one of our practice management experts help!




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