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37. Mission and Vision Implementation (Walking the Talk)

Posted Oct 31 2008 3:24am

It’s a simple change, really.

The strategic planning/business development group at our own system is now the Department of Mission and Vision Implementation.  Why?  Because a not-for-profit hospital has one meaning for existence: fulfilling its mission.  Mission and vision statements are easy to craft, much harder to follow.

The stories of hospitals who fail to mission and vision implement are plentiful (ask your family members the next time you get together to tell you about a disappointing health care experience, be wary of the can of worms being opened).

The strains upon our health care system are such that fulfilling the mission and vision have become increasingly difficult, that’s no reason for retreat (in fact, make it a call to arms).  Questions of quality remain as hospitals say they are dedicated to providing the highest quality care.  Charity care is questioned as hospitals promise to provide for the community’s needs.  Treating patients with dignity and respect continues to be a challenge.

It’s akin to the marketing department at a corporation whose lone function remains advertising.  Marketing is their business.  Fulfilling the mission and pursuing the vision is ours.

How often is your hospital’s mission and vision considered in decisions made at meetings?  Not often (ever?)?  Big problem.  If the mission is our purpose then every (every!) decision we make regarding the here-and-now will be guided by the mission.  If the vision is our road map to the future then every (every!) decision we make about the future will be guided by our vision.

Principle 37: If you want to be the best, then make an effort to be.  From here on out, it’s about one thing: mission and vision implementation.  Always.  Simple task with potentially staggering results: read the mission and vision before every meeting.  Every meeting.  And don’t let up until all of the organization’s actions align with these very important words, for words are words apart from action.

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