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Healthcare Strategic Planning: Are you effectively collaborating with the C-Suite?

Posted by Yvette Stanley on Mar 5, 2019 10:35:00 AM
Yvette Stanley

As a leader in your organization, you may be tasked with collaborating in a strategic planning exercise and therefore need to  communicate with the C-Suite? What if your strategy requires the C-Suite's support for hiring a Business Manager for your OR? What about requesting capital equipment after the budget has closed for the year?  Often these conversations are not easy. Challenges could be alignment of goals, delivering a difficult message, or simply finding the time in everyone's busy schedules to meet. The premier challenge in any healthcare strategic planning exercise lies in creating an environment conducive to collaborating effectively and gaining trust.  It can be complex and frustrating trying to figure out the best approach. As a leader, the C-Suite needs your expertise and input. You are an important piece to the success of your organization.  Here are some suggestions that I’ve found to be successful.

Understanding organizational goals will help you figure out how you fit in to supporting them. Concise and clear messaging will gain the attention of the C-Suite faster than a 3-page detailed document in the weeds. It’s important to set aside time routinely to stay aligned while working to meet goals at various levels. Remember, you are working to gain the attention of a very busy audience.

Before requesting time with the C-Suite, set aside time to draft your questions and recommendations that you believe would be beneficial. When making recommendations, it’s good to map out a drafted written plan for review by your team creating buy-in before sharing with the C-Suite. Ask yourself the question, does this initiative align with the goals of our organization/C-Suite? If so, move forward. If not, make it less of a priority until you can develop a plan to make your case for why it is important and how it can positively impact the organization. Always provide the rationale and benefits behind the goals you are trying to achieve. If you are requesting resources, staff, equipment, etc. assure that you can support the way it will help to achieve the overall goals.

Be mindful of the appropriate amount of time designated for the meetings, it’s very important to be respectful of their time. Always send out the agenda with the amount time needed ahead so that participants are prepared for the content of the meeting. The agenda sets the tone and expectations of the participants while informing the C-Suite that you are prepared and not wasting their time. Organize the agenda to ensure that there’s not too much content to cover. Ask for feedback in prioritizing the initiatives. At the end of the session, ask if the meeting was beneficial and if they want to set up follow-up sessions. Summarize next steps, and don’t be shy to delegate tasks that may come out of the meeting to staff members. Be honest with the C-Suite sharing your limitations but be prepared to provide solutions as well.

Tip: Have a brainstorming session with your department to determine how they can incorporate the goals, e.g. mission statements. This level of socialization will get the C-Suites attention.

A simple one-page document or dashboard that provides routine updates is beneficial. Provide updates keeping them informed by being transparent about your challenges, risks, and milestones achieved. Finally, remember that acknowledging the overall goals are just that “GOALS”.  It takes time, resources and alignment of initiatives to achieve goals/milestones.  

Having trouble getting started? Are you fearful of the outcome to align your goals with the organization? Let us bridge the gap, Talk to one of our experts.

Surgical Directions has expertise in training mentoring and educating OR Directors. We have been successful in more that 350 hospitals empowering OR Directors to collaborate with the C-Suite effectively through streamlining processes providing you with trialed tools setting you up for success.

Tags: Staff Productivity, Collaboration in the OR, Physician Leadership, Staff Engagement, Trust, C-Suite, Partnerships, Hospital Leadership

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