The senior living industry has grown in complexity over the last decade. With regulatory changes, troubling economic conditions, and a changing consumer market, senior living providers need to be even more vigilant in ensuring each workday yields the intended results. As complexity has crept into organizations, it has brought about longer “to-do” lists. The most obvious place this is seen, is the strategic plan.
Strategic plans are generally based on a set of organizational goals. If an organization has five goals and feels it needs to work on all five at the same time, then the strategic plan becomes longer and more robust. As with most strategic plans, the time frame can vary, however plans are typically based on a three-to ten-year time frame.
Another Year, Another List of Goals
Each calendar year brings about a series of projects or annual objectives. This causes tension throughout the organization given the limited resources (i.e., people, time, money, etc.) most communities have at their disposal today. While each element of the strategic plan is considered equally important by leadership, employees nevertheless focus more on the project that directly involves or benefits them.
It is difficult for any organization to support multiple goals and objectives at the same time. In fact, it’s been said that when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority! So inevitably, some projects receive less attention. This continued result places more pressure on the organization as certain goals or projects are falling behind schedule or are not achieving the intended results.
Simple is Better: Sharpen Your Focus for Optimal Results
Veronica Barber, SageAge Strategies consultant and licensed Long-Term Care Administrator, says, “Achieving results happens when a singular focus is the primary method used in planning. Considered the ‘Year of the Sheep’ in Chinese Astrology, 2015 is expected to be a year for “harmonious co-existence.” This is exactly what we want to create from an organizational focus. One goal – one big, challenging and exciting goal that everyone in the organization can rally around. Rand Fishkin developed the Vision-Based Framework for organizations, to help them stay aligned with their organizational mission, vision and values, and to simplify efforts, focusing on one big goal at a time, as illustrated below:”
Unite and Conquer!
Patrick Lencioni, in his latest book entitled, The Advantage also encourages organizations to focus on one goal at a time. Patrick concludes that organizations are suffering from “organizational A.D.D.” given all the day-to-day challenges companies are facing. To counteract the unhealthy organizational cultures that are in existence today, he suggests that organizations focus on one goal at a time. One “thematic goal,” something that unites everyone, and brings about a strong desire to work together to achieve the goal.
This helps to eliminate organizational silos, or competing resources. Everyone is responsible for achieving the overarching goal, either via direct involvement or in a supporting capacity. The goal has a defined time frame, and once it’s achieved, then the organization can move onto another thematic goal.
When Multitasking is Counterproductive
We live in a world where multitasking is viewed as a way of life. There are clear benefits to multitasking, especially when the work is easy. Multitasking allows us to become better equipped to deal with interruptions or distractions, and it can keep us from getting bored.
However, multitasking doesn’t always achieve the intended results: when our attention is divided between two or more large tasks, the quality of the work suffers and the length of time to complete the task increases. Multitasking is similar to having multiple goals/projects happening in an organization at the same time. It’s simply not effective. Perhaps employees work harder, but not smarter; and the result – the diffused organizational effort doesn’t yield the intended results.
Your Path to Success
If you desire your organization to be more effective and achieve a high-degree of operational performance from your employees, then you should to start with a review of your strategic plan. Look to see where you can simplify or streamline efforts. Or simply extend your existing time frames, so only one goal is worked on a time. Create a united focus, where everyone is responsible in some way for achieving the same goal. Once you’ve arrived at the intended result, move on to the next goal and rally the team again!
Proven Operational Planning is Available to Guide Your Growth Strategy Successfully
If you are a senior living community considering the need for assistance in creating strategic goals and implementation plans that more effectively align with your desired performance, we encourage you to contact us for more information today. SageAge Strategies is a results-based, multiple award-winning, strategic growth and marketing organization that operates exclusively in the senior living industry. By practicing what we preach, SageAge was recently named one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. For more information, please e-mail Veronica Barber at email@example.com.
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