In Pursuit of Competitive Advantage

The most important decisions faced by healthcare executives and governing boards are, more often than not, posed by the marketplace. The expectations and actions of consumers, doctors, government agencies, philanthropists, stockholders, suppliers, the labor market and industry at large continually reset both requirements for success and the rules of competition. The development and implementation of strategy is the principal means to create and sustain competitive advantage over the long term. It requires continuous leadership attention and engagement in ever-higher levels of strategic thinking, discussion and decision-making.

Successful organizations approach strategy as a compilation of processes to discern the boundaries of the business, redefine the basis of competition, and create an organization capable of success in ever-changing and unpredictable markets. Strategy cannot be delegated; it is the core duty of executives and boards to define the future and to lead the company, its people, its customers, and even its competitors, in that direction.

Strategic leaders – those at the forefront of markets and industries – approach strategy formulation and execution in myriad ways. Of more interest are the commonalities that characterize great strategists and great organizations, and form the foundation for great plans – among them an artful mix of analytical processes and intuitive leaps of faith; strategic thinking skills that engage discussion at all levels about the future and its potential opportunities and threats; a willingness to recognize weaknesses and challenge prior successes; a laser focus on what’s important; and a long view that is little obscured by short term and lesser significant issues.

This blog exists to explore matters of strategy — especially as it is practiced by market-driving companies. I invite you to join the discussion.

Karen

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