Road trip to organizational success: the current economic environment in health care is so challenging that much of our time is spent managing from crisis to crisis

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Date: Oct. 2010
From: Healthcare Financial Management(Vol. 64, Issue 10)
Publisher: Healthcare Financial Management Association
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,174 words
Lexile Measure: 1000L

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Crisis management is not rewarding, nor does it lead healthcare organizations to a better future. Even when our very survival seems to be at stake, leaders should consider where they are taking their organizations. Effectively focusing on where to lead our organizations in the midst of uncertainty is like taking a road trip.

The organizational road trip to success parallels a family vacation. In this example, the vacation is a road trip using a GPS navigation system. Seven steps are involved for our family and for our corporate journey.

Step one is entering one's home address into the GPS. For organizations, defining "home" involves redefining mission. Why do we exist? Are our effort and resources being spent in a manner that aligns with our reason for being? Too many organizations stray into areas that are not their core strength, wasting resources and talent.

Step two in our family road trip is defining our final destination. Our GPS system does not help us without an end point, nor does it help us if we have only a vague end point or general direction. If we want to arrive at a specific destination, we need to enter an exact address. For organizations, this step means defining vision. We do not need the grandiose statements of the past that weren't particularly measurable ("We strive to be the high-quality, low-cost provider of choice"), but rather, a specific end point. What exactly are we driving our organizations toward? Does everyone share the same understanding of where we are going?

With the final destination entered into our GPS, our system now provides the road map for how we get from our home to our destination (step three). Although it is critical to have this road map to measure our...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A243277529