Strategy. What a great word.
What does it make you think of? When I hear the word strategy I think of Sun Tzu, Machiavelli and the like. More recently I think of the ongoing technology battle of the heavyweights Apple and Samsung.
But strategy effects every decision we make on a daily basis. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, middle manager, frontline employee, small startup or large conglomerate. You make your decisions for a reason. Now whether you’ve defined those reasons yourself or they’ve been passed down to you is a different matter. It doesn’t matter, you’re being guided by an invisible hand.
At least I hope you are.
I had an interesting conversation recently with a senior doctor who happens to be a senior manager overseeing three acute departments with a combined budget of approximate £30m/ year. When I asked him how he decided where to allocate resources he said he just did based on what he thought needed to change.
I thought this was a profoundly revealing answer.
One man defined the strategy of a set of departments employing 300 people. Now , I’m sure its not that simple and a lot of discussions happen and these departments were run very efficiently. But it still, left me curious.
How do you decide what projects are worthy of your time and money? ‘Depends on what you want to achieve.’
What do you want to achieve? ‘A range of things?’
And that’s precisely my point. Too many organisations have too many positive goals. Growth, profit, market share, increased productivity, reduced costs, improved patient care, meeting government targets, securing funding, developing more services and on and on and on…..
It’s simply too much to do and it leads to an ill-defined, mis-managed set of projects. So take a step back. Think, ponder and procrastinate a little even.
What do you need to achieve now? Tomorrow? In five years? 10 years?
Where did you come from, how did you get here and where do you need to get to?
Those are the questions you need to start with before you can formulate a meaningful plan of action.
Or as I like to call it.
Dr Saif Abed
CEO and Co-Founder
Abed Graham Healthcare Strategies Ltd