It is not too early to start planning for the last quarter of your Annual Plan, which truly feels like the last several miles of a marathon race. You have to make sure your long distance runners (aka, your team) have a workable strategy to cross the finish line at record pace, with an eye on the next race. It’s time to ask two questions:
1. Is my team focused on what needs to be done in order to cross the finish line at the end of December, with gold medals for production, collections, number of new patients/referrals, case acceptance, Facebook likes, testimonials, and more?
2. Am I ready to forecast new and innovative strategies for success for 2014 that will inspire new levels of growth and enthusiasm in my team, patients, and me?
Strategic retreats sometime between October and the end of the year are mandatory if you want to embrace a culture of continuous improvement. Your strategic retreat should follow a clear agenda. This includes:
• Introductions and expectations – The entire team must be given the opportunity to discuss what they hope to achieve from the retreat, and what they think are the most important issues to work on.
• Story so far – This is anopportunity to review highlights and strengths of the past and celebrate successes (big and small)."
• The picture now and next – There should be an overview of current services, systems, and outcomes, including any issues and challenges the team is facing currently or expects to face in the New Year.
• The goals for the new race – This is an opportunity to set benchmarks for both quantitative and qualitative goals and outcomes for the last quarter and the New Year.
• Problem solving and action plan for current and future opportunities and challenges – Discuss what needs to be achieved. Who has to do what and when do they make that happen?
• A “from this day forward” commitment – This is an invitation to close the door on the past, and a commitment to follow through on a desired future
Creating team consensus and a real coalition for change always increases your chances for goal achievement. Schedule your meetings now! If you don’t, I know where you all work. Don’t make me come and schedule it for you!
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