When you do your planning, how far out do you go? 1 year? 3? 5?
How about 15 or 20?
Taking the leap from a 3 or 5 year planning cycle to 15 or 20 years is like jumping off of a cliff. Over the course of a few years, we can envision with some accuracy where healthcare and, more specifically, the local markets that we serve are going. Looking further, significant shifts can occur and the entire landscape of healthcare could change dramatically due to changes in technology, payment structures, healthcare delivery models and the long-term general state of the economy.
How do you plan that far out? Perhaps more importantly, how do you make moves today that best position your organization for success regardless of the future state of our industry?
In steps scenario planning, as I learned about at yesterday’s presentation at SHSMD – Scenario Planning at Lancaster General Health, but Susan Wynne, SVP Business Development and Ruth Hudale, Director Planning & Market Research at Lancaster General.
In scenario planning, you envision several distinctly different industry states (Lancaster General did this with 4 scenarios) that could exist 20 years in the future and do a separate plan for each scenario. Then you translate that into action by looking at the strategic choices that position your organization well in the majority (3 out of 4) scenarios and then act on those items.
As I think of this in terms of Web or online communications planning, I see this having real potential, but the time horizon isn’t 15 or 20 years. The pace of change of ecommunications is so fast that it compresses that cycle. Making scenario planning a good option for Web strategic planning on a 5 year time horizon.
What do you think the future holds?