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Embrace Disruption as a Key Part of Your Strategic Plan

Are you being disrupted? Are you disrupting yourself, your market or your competitors? Are you asking the critical “what if” questions that will guide your future? If not, you should be, as it will be vital to your organization’s successful strategic execution.

Planning your strategy for the future has always been a difficult task: How do you plan for uncertainty? How do you position for success? How will you know which path to pursue? Sg2 has been exploring these questions and the concept of disruption throughout 2015. Disruption’s importance in strategic planning cannot be overstated. While disruption might be considered a buzzword by some, we at Sg2 believe the concept of disruptive forces should be a critical part of your strategic process. To us, disruption is much more than a buzzword.

We define disruption in health care, which can be positive or negative, as any force, regardless of whether it originates within or outside the industry, capable of fundamentally altering the clinical or business models of health care organizations. Understanding how disruption may impact your strategy or may be used to differentiate your strategy is an often overlooked part of strategic development. Sg2 believes this ability to consider disruption’s impact may be the defining element among strategies that, in many cases, may be all too similar.

Today, the health care industry is being inundated by outside forces threatening to upend our strategies and the fundamental way we execute our day-to-day businesses. New, disruptive technologies, driven by mobile technology, more convenient diagnostic approaches, machine learning, cell-based therapies, and new ways for patients to create their own data sets, are rapidly emerging. For each of these disruptive forces, it’s important to understand how you will relate to them. The approach you choose will have a profound impact on your strategic execution—either positive or negative. Take time today to consider how these new technologies will impact your business model and respond accordingly.

For example, many of you may have heard of Theranos, Inc, a lab services company that has disrupted current laboratory practices by offering consumer convenience, a less invasive blood draw and much lower costs than traditional methods. Consider:

  • What if Theranos disrupts your internal laboratory services, including your revenue from lab tests?
  • What if it creates a new channel for patients to seek laboratory services, radically changing the way consumers interact with you?

The Cleveland Clinic recognized this potential disruption and decided earlier this year to partner with Theranos, allowing it to control how Theranos enters its markets.

Time spent evaluating the right approach and asking key “what if” questions will ensure your successful response to disruptions from outside our industry. Thinking broadly, what are a few of the more important “what if” questions you should be evaluating? During our 2015 Executive Summit series, we’ve been asking health care leaders across the nation the following questions:

  • What if 50% of your volumes in any given service line were virtual?
  • What if more than half of your revenue came from channels that you don’t yet have?
  • What if more than half of primary care was provided through retail clinics?

How would you respond to, or even anticipate, these hypotheticals? At the Executive Summit we received thoughtful responses and spirited debate from our clients on how these “what ifs” are already shaping the strategic plans of your health systems. It’s important to continually evaluate and understand these and other potential “wild cards” as part of your horizon-scanning efforts.

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As of February 11, 2016, Vizient, Inc. has completed its purchase of MedAssets Sg2 and spend and clinical resource management segments from Pamplona Capital Management, LLC. MedAssets revenue cycle business will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pamplona Capital Management LLP.

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