Embarking on a new strategy requires myriad organizational changes—which will inevitably come with losses. Some parts of the business, people, roles, processes, and traditions will inevitably be deemphasized, or even eliminated from the organization. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review identifies how leaders launching new strategies typically spend a significant amount of time trying to plan for the unpredictable future, while overlooking one of the most predictable parts of any change in strategy: what will be lost when something else is gained.
The Gist: It is critical to identify, acknowledge, and plan for these losses in adopting any new strategy, as the unexpressed fear of loss is a key driver of organizational inertia and resistance to change.
With health systems deep in strategy development for the post-COVID market, leaders must take into account the wide range of challenges their organizations will face when it comes to reconfiguring investment, growth, competencies, and people, in addition to focusing on new areas of opportunity revealed by the pandemic.
Failing to confront these tradeoffs head-on may sacrifice any strategic gains resulting from new initiatives.