Here are a few suggestions for a simple strategic planning meeting; one usually without an outside facilitator (even though I don’t recommend this). This format works especially well in smaller physician practices:
· Limit to the meeting to a 1/2 day planning session every 6 or 12 months.
· Pick only 3 topics.
· Start 12:30 at an offsite location.
· All physician members suggest topics they would like to discuss and these topics are all noted on a board. After everyone has made suggestions the group looks to see which can be combined. Next, everyone get 3 votes and they mark which topics they want to discuss. The topics with the most votes are discussed. This part of the planning session takes us about an hour.
· For the next 3 hours, each topic receives one hour. During that hour a SWOT is performed and a plan of action is generated with responsible member(s) to follow up and report back to the group. Depending on the topic and action plan this may be reporting over several months.
· The last 30 minutes all is recapped.
Items to be aware of – Someone needs to take lead so one individual controls the floor. It is not a gripe session so only positive solutions need to be entertained. The leader can change as the topic changes.
If you have a boatload of topics, a large number of participants and more time you may want to think about breaking into small groups with each group going over a few topics or each small group going over all the topics and coming up with a best solution. Then each best solution could be discussed with all members.