Strategic planning in GP practices

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Strategic planning

What’s on your strategic planning agenda for 2016?

How will you grow your business? How will you respond to competition, increased appointments and patient contact time? How can you enhance your services with pressure on funding? Should you invest in staff, premises and technology? How will you resource your business, recruit the right people and ensure long term sustainability? Does your strategic planning address these points?

No doubt, like most primary care providers, you’re struggling with these questions as you position yourself for the future. Ensuring your Practice supports the longer-term strategic direction for the local health and care system.

But where to begin?

Strategic planning is the starting point for future success – yet some senior teams still struggle to achieve what they set out to in their strategy sessions. They often feel as though they’ve just spent all day (or longer) kicking ideas around but not getting anywhere.

Use an experienced facilitator

Your time is precious and you can’t afford to waste it. Using experienced facilitators can make a huge difference. They can guide your meeting to a successful outcome by introducing new approaches and helping people think creatively about problems, issues and opportunities. Freeing people up from established thinking and letting them try out ideas from new positions and perspectives.


Good facilitators:

  • Remain impartial to individual views or arguments
  • Keep discussions focused and on track
  • Ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute
  • Ensure that decisions are taken in a positive way
  • Ensure the next steps are agreed
  • Encourage and enable the group to work together to develop the strategic plan which, in turn, helps ensure they commit to its implementation

How to get the best from your facilitator

Experienced facilitators can usually hit the ground running, however, to get the best from their input they should be:

  • Interested in your business
  • Experienced in facilitating strategic planning meetings
  • Involved in designing the agenda and format of the meeting
  • Happy to share ideas, insight and new perspectives that will help you achieve your objectives most effectively
  • Skilled in applying different methods and activities to meet your needs
  • Able to respond to the group dynamics on the day

A good facilitator will seek to understand the background to your business and current strategy. They need to know of any perceived or actual communication problems, internal politics and personalities that may prevent constructive interaction during and after the meeting. Their aim is to make your strategic planning meeting successful.

Good facilitators don’t take sides (so don’t expect them to wear your team jersey just because you’ve hired them).

If you feel your strategic planning meetings aren’t working or you want a new approach to your sessions, contact us to discuss how we can help.