Goal Setting Starts with a Clear Vision (Statement)
By Maureen Waddle
As the year draws to a close, consultants are gratified when they see practices exercise the discipline of setting goals and budgets for the next year. Practice principals that do not take up this exercise may not have articulated a clear vision and may be unsure of how to set relevant, achievable goals. Even when a practice does have a vision statement, the principals sometimes disregard it when setting goals.
To ensure meaningful and appropriate goal setting, and that their goals get the proper support, practice owners should revisit the vision statement annually to confirm that everyone is aligned with it. Practices that exceed market growth typically have a vision that transforms the organization and guides the annual goals in a way that creates passion around projects that will achieve that vision.
A vision statement gives an organization direction and purpose. It considers the customers and how they view the organization. A meaningful vision statement is most effective when it reflects the passion of the owners for the services they provide and the type of practice they imagine.
Elements of a Vision Statement
The box lists 10 pertinent questions to consider when crafting a vision statement. Answer them honestly. When working with partners, it may be wise to pose these questions in a survey and use the responses to write several drafts. Crafting an enduring, consequential vision statement is not easy because it is based on emotional and passionate thoughts. The aim is to keep refining it until the partners reach a consensus.
Practices often hastily create a vision statement by slightly changing the wording of another group’s statement. While examples are useful, an impactful vision statement must be unique, created out of the owners’ passion, the company’s values and a true desire to attain a dream.
|10 Questions Goal Setters Should Ask Themselves
1. What do we do better than anyone else?
2. What do we want our practice to be known for?
3. What should be the scope of our services?
4. What should be the scope of our geography?
5. What position do we want to hold in the market (are we already there)?
6. What DON'T we want to do?
7. What are the core values we will adhere to regardless of what happens around us?
8. Who are our customers?
9. What is the ultimate result of our work?
10. What is our responsibility to the community?
Examples of Statements
Here are a couple vision statements from well-known known companies:
► Ford Motor Company: Ford will democratize the automobile.
► BMW: To become most successful premium manufacturer in the car industry.
Here are two samples from ophthalmology practices:
► To be the best provider of medical/surgical eye care in XXXX County as evidenced by the referrals we receive from happy patients, optometric physicians and the health-care community.
► To be recognized as the premier provider of all eye-care services in the XXXX area. This will be achieved through the consistent provision of exceptional care experiences by the finest physicians and staff members available. We will recognize the achievement of our vision when:
• Our patients say they cannot imagine going anywhere else for their eye care.
• Our physicians say they cannot imagine practicing anywhere else.
• Our employees say they cannot imagine working anywhere else.
• Our community leaders say we make this a better place to live.”
Given the scope of services envisioned in the first practice’s statements, one would surmise this practice would set goals around obtaining referrals and not give much attention to routine eye care or optical. Conversely, the second practice, which provides all eye-care services, lists specific goals about the expansion of vision and optical services.
Because a vision statement is crafted from the owners’ passion, they are more ready to support achieving the goals enthusiastically and financially. Taking the time to gain consensus around the partners’ (or solo owner’s) vision will help you develop more relevant, achievable goals. OM
Maureen Waddle is a senior consultant for BSM Consulting, an internationally recognized healthcare consulting firm. For more information and resources, visit www.bsmcafe.com.
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