Identifying your organizational direction is a key activity within any strategic planning process. The components of organizational direction describe your hospital or system’s reason for existence and frames where you wish to be in the future. In our era of market instability and post-reform adjustment, organizational direction can help provide the clarity your system needs to move forward with confidence.
The most critical elements of any organizational direction will be its mission statement, vision statement, and stated values. These represent more than just a collection of catchy and well-meaning words and phrases; they illustrate to all employees and the community who you truly are and who you want to be. Key characteristics of these three components are outlined below, along with samples from successful provider organizations across the U.S.
- What is it?
A brief phrase that states who the organization is, why it exists, and what it does
- How is it developed?
Mission statement development often requires input from key stakeholders, including administrators, strategic planning committee members, and the board of trustees
- How often does it change?
For most health care organizations, the mission statement is unlikely to change over time, but should be revisited in cases where the scope of the organization has changed. In sum, mission statements can have an enduring time horizon, but should be revisited every 10+ years.
- A great example of a focused mission statement can be found on National Jewish Health’s website
- What is it?
A statement that illustrates what the organization wants to be in the future.