What You Must Know About Opportunities, Euphemisms, and Power: Group “Buys” Competitors for Nothing

July 6, 2020

If you participated in the live or on-demand version of the How to Deploy the Secret Sauce of Opportunistic Strategy webinar, which is a prerequisite to participation in the Strategy Working Group Program, then nothing I’m going to describe below will shock you. In fact, it will make you smile. (If you haven’t done that initial work, you can start by accessing the on-demand webinar here.)


The five orthopedic surgeons who dissolved their private practice in 2016 to become employees of Aspen Valley Hospital (“AVH”) are out of jobs, maybe permanently, in their little slice of what was a mountain paradise.

The majority of the seven surgeons from the current outside ortho group practicing at AVH, OrthoAspen, will soon be in the same avalanche, at least as to practice at the AVH location.

And The Steadman Clinic will have taken a giant opportunistic leap forward.

It appears that Steadman executed on one of the strategies explored in the How to Deploy the Secret Sauce of Opportunistic Strategy webinar and to be minutely dissected in the Working Group program: “buying” a practice without paying a cent.

The public reaction (for example, see this article in the Aspen Times) is one of shock. Why wouldn’t Steadman simply hire all of the currently AVH-based orthopedic surgeons?

The public, and I’d guess the soon to be unemployed OrthoAspen surgeons, apparently misunderstood what the word “partnership” means in the healthcare deal context.

Earlier this year, AVH’s CEO was reported to have said that AVH thought it wise for Steadman and OrthoAspen to be strategic partners instead of operating as separate entities.

But in the real world context of opportunistic action, “partnership” is a euphemism for “acquired” or “controlled.” As in, “sure, we’re your partner, but you work for us, I mean, if we let you work for us.”

Steadman understood this. AVH understood this. One can only wonder what OrthoAspen thought.

Apparently, no one consulted the hospital employed doctors because, well, no one had to.

[To become an inner Steadman (and not an inner OrthoApen), start by accessing the on-demand webinar here.]

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