The Surgical Approach to Strategic Planning: Greg Duhon, MD, Offers Lessons from Medicine for Business Leaders

Surgeons work in high-pressure environments every day. To handle everything that's thrown at them — whether they're in the operating room or the office — they need to be well-prepared for what's ahead. In this article, Dr. Gregory Duhon, MD, covers how the lessons from the operating room can also apply to the boardroom.

Those who desire to have a long, successful career in medicine need to integrate strategic planning. Without it, surgeons and their teams will only be addressing problems as they arise, in an approach that could be described as crisis management.

The Journal of Oncology Practice published an article about why strategic planning makes a difference and how those in oncology can do it. Many of their suggestions can also serve as lessons for business leaders looking to take a surgical approach to strategic planning.

Things Change Quickly

The reason why strategic planning is so important for physicians is that their environment changes so rapidly. The world in which oncologists operate is constantly changing, with outside and unknown forces affecting their practice.

The same goes for business leaders. With advances in technology and the expansion of the global digital economy, things that weren't pertinent even five years ago have become significant threats to success today.

While there's no way to predict exactly what will happen in the future, strategic planning provides multiple benefits aside from the actual plan itself. This includes fostering collegiality among the main team members as you create the strategic plan in an environment that is free from distraction. By involving other key players in the process, it also promotes inclusivity and the open exchange of ideas.

Plan for the Short and Long Term

The most effective strategic planning initiatives will include identifying your company's overarching goals for both the short and long term. In health care, long-term plans typically only address the next three years — at most.

That limited timeframe is due to the fact that so much is changing so quickly in health care that planning beyond three years is often pointless. The long-term strategic plan should be crafted first, and then a short-term strategic plan follows it.

In medicine, physicians will usually have short-term plans that look forward to 12 months. Then, they bring the team back together every 12 months to review how the previous year went and create another short-term strategic plan for the year ahead.

Start with Missions and Values

Dr. Gregory Duhon, MD, points out that there are multiple ways to approach strategic planning. While there's no one "right" way to do it, a great place to start is by developing a mission statement and values.

This is what many physician practices will do. Once they've come up with their mission statement and values, they'll write them down — an important step you shouldn't overlook because it gives you something to refer back to.

Business leaders need to take a page out of physicians' books when it comes to mission statements, too. They need to be succinct and define the exact mission of the organization.

Then, once the mission statement is established, a set of value statements can be established that will help express the company's core beliefs — all of which support the mission statement.

From there, the rest of the strategic planning process can commence.

More Information on Dr. Gregory Duhon

Dr. Gregory Duhon, MD, stands as the dynamic force propelling American Consulting Physicians into the forefront of telemedicine innovation. With a stellar reputation as an accomplished Internal Medicine Physician and Hospitalist, his profound understanding of ICU, emergency room protocols, and crisis/pandemic management is the cornerstone of his pioneering telehealth initiative.

Dr. Duhon's mission is to deliver acute and chronic medical care services to patients in need, spanning a network that encompasses 15 states from Colorado and Maine all the way to Georgia and Texas.

What truly sets Dr. Duhon apart is his dedication to tackling complex medical conditions and his unwavering commitment to extending patient consultations, a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence in healthcare delivery.

This article was originally published in Healthtian.