Group Culture

How Medical Groups Get Mired Fighting the Last War

May 13, 2013

It’s often said that countries’ militaries are mired in fighting the last war.

For example, navies build more large ships to combat the memory of the last war’s naval battles, which are also the battles projected to come. But the future is not always a repeat of the past and the next threat, perhaps attack by a swarm of small ships, may leave large ships at a decided disadvantage.

So, too, many physician groups are fighting the last war, imagining that the threat to their existence is from, say, the hospital, or from a certain type of other specialists.

But the reality may be very different.

Many of the scenarios that medical groups consider in setting their strategy, if they engage in strategy work at all, and if they consider alternative scenarios at all, are mired in the past:  Past battles that were either won or lost, but past all the same.

The pace of change in healthcare is accelerating dramatically. At the same time that the federal government is poised to grab more control through the implementation of Obamacare, so too will some states begin to implement other “reform.”

And, at the same time, disruptive providers, hospitals, large employers, new technologies, and entrepreneurial thinkers will change the landscape on which your group’s competitiveness will be measured.

It’s no longer business as usual. It is business as unusual. And that requires a new way of thinking.

Leave a Reply