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Does Your Strategy Account For the Future?

"Your rearview mirror is so small and your windshield is so large because what lies ahead is much more important than the past." (@CHRISVOSS)

What can we say about the future? 
  • It's uncertain and the end is always near. (Jim Morrison) 
  • The future is much like the present, only longer.  (Dan Quisenberry) 
  • The future is here.  It's just not widely distributed yet. (William Gibson) 
Uncertain. As near as tomorrow. Long duration.  Limited (and uneven) distribution.

Think about how hospital strategic plans account for future competitor decisions.   If they do at all,  it's little more than simple extrapolation of past performance, a technique which, though understandable since that's where the data reside, is nothing more than crafting strategy in a vacuum.
It's much easier to track competitor performance retrospectively than to forecast future decisions.

Volume trends, market share, patient satisfaction, quality indicators, financial performance, major capital investments are all in the public domain if one knows where to look.  A strategist's job is to synthesize all that data so that a few important, future-oriented questions receive sustained attention:

1. The Benchmark Question: 
What is our competitive position relative to the competition?

2. The Trendline Question:
Are we improving? I.e. what's the slope of our trend line? How do we know?

3. The Speed To Market Question:
Are we improving as rapidly as those around us? Are our improvement cycle times fast enough?

4. The Marketplace Expectations Question:
Are we improving as rapidly as the market demands, now and in the future? I.e. is our projected performance sufficient to succeed as customer expectations grow and evolve?


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