The Process Posts

Where Are You Now?

July 24, 2009

“Lieutenant, plot a course to Tahiti.”  Okay, but to do so, you’ve got to know where you are now.

The first step in determining your future doesn’t have anything to do with the future at all.

Instead, it has everything to do with the present, with where your group is now.  And that requires that you tell the truth about it, which is often the hardest thing to do, much harder than actually moving your group to the future.

Among the questions you should be asking yourself are:

  • Does your group have a current strategic plan?  Has it ever had one?
  • Why is your group’s organizational structure as it is?  When was the last time that your group reviewed its organizational structure?  What other structures are possible and would one better suit your goals?
  • Whatever the structure, when did your group last review its organizational documents, such as its partnership agreement or shareholders agreement?
  • If your group has an exclusive contract, when does it renew?  In the past, how long before a renewal date did your group begin working on the renewal?
  • How much time and effort do your group’s leaders devote to group business and to guiding the group’s future, as opposed be being engaged in patient care activities?
  • How would you grade the relationship among the group’s owners?  Among all of its physicians?  Among all of its personnel, both professional and other?
  • At how many facilities does your group provide services?
  • What’s the quality of the relationship between your group and each of those facilities’ administration?  Why?
  • What’s the quality of the relationship between your group and the other members of the medical staff at each of the facilities?
  • What’s the quality of the relationship between your group’s providers and your patients?
  • What distinguishes the experience that your group provides from that of all your competitors in your market?  From all other groups in the country?

Only once you’ve told yourself the truth can you establish where you are now.  Without that knowledge, even if you happen to know where you want to go, you can never get there.

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