How to identify and achieve a clear vision for business planning and success

What are the key elements of a good business plan?

The business plan covers what you intend to do and how it will be done. First, it’s important to look internally at your organization to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Then, you look externally with a thorough market analysis of your consumers. You must deliver a service that consumers need and want. This often defines a particular service line or area of growth for an organization. The next important step is analyzing your competitors. It’s critical to get insight into what competitors are offering as well as when and where they are looking to grow. Are you ahead of them or behind? Your answer may form the timeline for your operating and marketing plans.

The operating plan describes how you intend to implement your strategy, which will influence your marketing strategy. Once you develop or expand your new service, how will your community and consumers know about it? Last but not least, it’s important to keep the entire business plan realistic. A financial plan will help you map out the costs to determine whether or not the investment is realistic and is likely to result in a positive and worthwhile return.

How do you motivate individuals within a large organization to purposefully work toward achieving its goals?

An organization’s biggest asset is its employees and it is critical to invest in them. Developing employees and retaining their loyalty will increase their commitment to the organization and desire to achieve its goals. One way to foster employee morale is to ask employees for input. At Palmetto General Hospital, we established an employee leadership group that meets on a regular basis. This group brings forward new ideas on how we can assist employees in making their jobs easier and it helps them feel ownership in what our hospital wants to achieve. We also celebrate employees for their positive achievements through an active recognition program, which is communicated through a monthly newsletter. This newsletter features the employee of the month, in addition to compliments or letters from patients, updates on the hospital, awards and achievements, internal activities and more.

Another way to boost employee engagement is to encourage continuous learning and professional growth. At Palmetto General Hospital, we have expanded our status as a teaching hospital. We have found that students generate a new energy and they motivate employees to stay current. Their passion encourages everyone to excel and it brings a higher level of quality service. Other organizations should consider expanding learning opportunities for their employees and bringing in students through an employee mentor program or internships. Investing in employees and creating excitement and purpose in their work will create a determined organization that will grasp its vision for the future and see it to fruition.

Ana Mederos is the CEO of Palmetto General Hospital, which is a part of Tenet Healthcare Corporation.