Manage Your Practice Philosophy The Business of Healthcare

How Sharp is Your Group? Strategy, Tactics and the Future of Your Medical Group

November 12, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reported that Japan’s 100 year old Sharp Corp. announced that it had doubts that it could remain as a going concern.

Sharp had invested heavily in building liquid crystal display manufacturing plants in order to compete with its South Korean rivals, only to have the market collapse.

Sharp’s president was quoted as saying, “We lacked a sense of speed. The situation could have been different if we took steps more quickly.”

That sense of speed and action is entirely consistent with the philosophy of Col. John Boyd, considered by many to be the greatest military strategist since Sun Tzu, and his OODA loop, OODA being Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act.

Boyd’s concept is that strategic advantage is gained by being able to process information and take action faster than one’s opponent. This is referred to as getting inside your opponent’s OODA loop.

Whether or not Sharp ever heard of the OODA loop, it’s abundantly clear that someone got inside of theirs.

There are two important lessons here for medical groups.

The first: A 100-year-old company, or an office-based practice that has always received referrals from a certain group of internists, or a hospital-based group that has held the exclusive contract for 50 years, are not necessarily guaranteed a satisfactory future.

The second: Strategy and tactics exist. You either use them to your benefit or someone else uses them on you.

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