Last chance hospital case study (Strategic Plan)
What are some of the planning strategies that Russ might have used that would possibly have positively affected the outcome of the strategic plan execution?
Strategic planning in the last chance hospital case study is very crucial in any organization and is often carried out to improve the organization’s future performance or solve specific problems affecting the organization. For most organizations, the objective is to come up with ways that would eliminate the problem. For instance, in the case of Last Chance Hospital, the problem had been identified to be a possible future financial constraint thus constraint to come up with a suitable plan with reasonable, realist implementable strategies that would help improve the financial position of the hospital and prevent its future fall. The job of developing the strategic plan was taken by Russ whose plan put the hospital exactly where they had feared because he overlooked the recommended principles of effective strategic planning as implied by Jennings & Disney (2006).
An effective strategic plan, according to Jennings & Disney (2006), takes into account those affected with the drawback. In the past physicians had attracted patients to the hospital, however, currently, their contribution was no longer enough and Russ should have realized that. Thus, Russ needed to have been creative, explore, and incorporate the emerging market trends modifying them to suit the Hospital. For instance, the strategic plan should have focused on the marketing department giving recommendations on how to improve patients’ satisfaction like developing a communication system that allows for patients’ feedback. Moreover, he should have considered publicizing the hospital by advertising their services and even providing incentives to inform of some free services like advice on how to live healthily or slashing their service fee for a period of time as recommended by Tahkapaa (2004).
Russ should have ensured that his strategic plan was flexible. A good plan should be open to any possibilities, give alternatives that would back up the plan in case the original strategy is inappropriate, and give room for improvement of the plan in the future to incorporate dynamic changes in the patients’ market countrywide as described by Johnston & Bate (2003). He should have also been creative in the development of the strategic plan to come up with unique ideas that would attract more customers instead of settling for a simple concrete plan and be in a position to improvise if the plan was not yielding the required results as suggested by Johnston & Bate (2003).
Also, Russ should have sort the help of other staff members instead of coming up with the strategy on his own to get credit full credit which was a rather shallow and self- centered mentality since the strategy was for the good of the company and was meant to solve the foreseen future financial problem. Russ should have placed his priorities and obligation to the institution right and then embraced the spirit of teamwork as an analysis conducted by Jennings & Disney (2006) has confirmed the vital role of collective minds in proper planning and decision making. Therefore, he should have requested other staff members to assists him in formulating the plan as recommended by Jennings & Disney (2006).
Jennings & Disney (2006), further suggests that Russ should have formulated the objectives of the strategic plan regarding solving the financial problem by giving a general way and putting across as many ideas as he could for the board to weigh and determine the most appropriate method taking into consideration the impact of the idea to the institution and its ability to meet the objectives of the strategic plan and not a narrow approach that he provided. Russ should as well have embraced new opportunities like the new trend in the patient’s market instead of sticking to an old way since he was aware the institution needed more than just increasing the number of surgeons and nurses.
What political factors created bias and clouded judgments in this situation?
One of the political factors that resulted in business and lead to misjudgment of the situation was the nurse’s and physicians’ priorities that viewed strategic planning as a minor procedure with less importance than what they were dealing with like hiring more nurses and surgeons to enhance the provision of quality services. This made the plan easier to approve the project unopposed because it favored their major concern. Moreover, the strategic plan coincided with policymaker’s fixed predetermined views making it difficult for the situation to be viewed rationally as implied by Tahkapaa (2004).
Who’s to blame for the bad outcomes of this strategic plan?
In this case, it would be easy to blame Russ since that was his strategic plan. However, all the stakeholders of the hospital ought to take fault for the undesirable outcome of the strategic plan. Johnston & Bate (2003) reason that a strategic plan is supposed to be the outcome of combined efforts yet all of them left that vital responsibility solely to Russ while they attended to issues they thought were more wanting like his boss Graveyard trying to feel nurse vacancies a clear indication of misplaced priorities that diverted their attention from crucial institutional activities like strategic planning to eradicate future financial hardship.
Also, the board of directors and senior executives who approved the strategic plan are responsible for the hospital’s downfall as they readily approved the plan since it was inconsistent with their mindset. They let their personal interests; pride and overconfidence dominate their decision making criteria as they failed to keep an open mind that would have assisted in evaluating and analyzing the strategic plans’ likelihood of achieving the objectives and its impact on the institution as implied by Jung & Lee (2012).
Similarly, Jung & Lee (2012) indicate that Russ is also to blame since he diverted his focus from the hospital’s interest to personal desires of fame and heroism as he was fully aware that his strategic plan was incapable of solving the future financial problem as much as he was certain of its approval since he admitted that the institution required more than just surgeon attraction.
Discuss some things Marvelous Marvin could have done differently as CEO to avoid the current situation?
Marvelous Marvin, the CEO of Last Chance Hospital, could have avoided the current situation had he been more involved in the strategic planning as recommended by Chiou & Chang (2009). He should have led the whole process by determining the extent of the objectives that the plan needs to achieve regarding the problem and accordance with the mission, vision, and goals of the hospital, delegated the role of strategic planning to a team, maybe departmental heads, and appointed a leader to facilitate the whole process. Demonstrating the seriousness of the operation by informing other employees and inviting them to contribute their ideas could have also been beneficial as explained by Chiou & Chang (2009). After which he should have evaluated the resulting strategic plan and determined its capability to meet its objectives before forwarding to plan to the board of directions for approval and overseen its implementation as suggested by Chiou & Chang (2009).
If you were one of the OR Director’s direct reports/managers, what should your involvement in the organization’s strategy have been?
If I were one of the OR directors of LCH, I would have challenged the strategic plan. This is because the strategy was biased and unbalanced as it was mainly centered on the OR department yet there were other departments like marketing that were supposed to have had the major responsibility of selling out the services of the hospitals to patients by creating awareness. Instead, the strategy kind of placed its focus on gambling since the reason behind it was that the patients will be attracted by competent physicians forgetting that it was a common requirement for hospitals hence could not make the LCH hospital stand out in comparison with other hospitals. The plan did entail spending cash that the hospital was not bringing in. Thus, to save the company, I would have challenged the strategic plan as at that particular time it was inappropriate as an effective solution to financial constraints as implied by Jung & Lee (2012).
Chiou, J., Chang, T. (2009). The effect of Management Leadership Style on Marketing Orientation, Service Quality, and Financial Results: A Cross-Cultural Study. Journal of Global Marketing. doi:10.1080/08911760902767961
Jennings, D., & Disney, J. J. (2006). Designing the strategic planning process: does psychological type matter? Management Decision. doi:10.1108/00251740610668860
Johnston, R. E., & Bate, J. D. (2003). The power of strategy innovation: A new way of linking creativity and strategic planning to discover great business opportunities. New York: AMACOM.
Tahkapaa, J. (2004). Increasing the role of information systems in public health care- challenges to the management. doi.10.1109/HICSS.2004.1265362
Frequently Asked Questions
What should marvelous Marvin have done differently as CEO to avoid the current situation?
- Determined the extent of the objectives that the plan needs to achieve regarding the problem and accordance with the mission, vision, and goals of the hospital
- Delegated the role of strategic planning to a team, maybe departmental heads, and appointed a leader to facilitate the whole process.
- Demonstrating the seriousness of the operation by informing other employees and inviting them to contribute their ideas
- He should have evaluated the resulting strategic plan and determined its capability to meet its objectives before forwarding to plan to the board of directions for approval and overseen its implementation
Who’s to blame for the bad outcomes of this strategic plan?
In this case, it would be easy to blame Russ since that was his strategic plan. However, all the stakeholders of the hospital ought to take fault for the undesirable outcome of the strategic plan.
What political factors created bias and clouded judgment in this situation?
- The nurses and physicians priorities viewed strategic planning as a minor procedure with less importance than what they were dealing with like hiring more nurses and surgeons to enhance the provision of quality services.
- The strategic plan coincided with the policymakers fixed predetermined views making it difficult for the situation to be viewed rationally