Examples of Our Work

Complex Business Change - Strategy Deployment and Organization Redesign:

Academic Medical Center Promotes Collaboration and a Patient Centered Care Approach through Complex Business Change Effort

The strategic intention of an academic medical center was to create a patient centered care approach and better align the hospital and the physicians (College of Medicine) through an integrated, multidisciplinary care approach. Executive leadership shared a commitment to reorganizing clinical care via a multidisciplinary "service line" strategy while maintaining the support of the academic and research missions through the traditional department structure. However, there was no mechanism or structure that existed to allow this unique collaboration to occur. The current state consisted of College leadership, Hospital leadership, and the physician practice leadership with no formal or informal structure to support the new structure.

While the leadership at this academic health center had previously recognized the importance of this approach to care, they had only taken some very isolated steps to address the issue. As a result, parts of the clinical enterprise were operating from a multidisciplinary approach without a clear unifying vision for the whole. A holistic approach or strategy was lacking that addressed the issues in a coordinated manner.

An internal "advisory" team (Executive Leadership from the College, Hospital, and Physician Practice) was formed to address the challenge that also included Strategic Focus Associates (Kathy Church, Cheryl Foss, Gary Frank and Pete Swanson). A roadmap was prepared and the actions taken included:

  • Clear metrics for success were selected and tracked via accountability sessions
  • Organization Design principles developed and the organization structure agreed upon by all key leaders and deployed
  • New leaders were selected for key positions and hired
  • New business units were structured and deployed
  • Strategy for overall enterprise was developed and deployed
  • Leadership development to support the new structure has been put in place
  • Rigorous review process developed and deployed

Significant business results were delivered including:

  • All clinical operations were reallocated along the identified 11 Service Lines (thus allowing the clinical "business units" to influence and "run" their business)
  • Documented savings of over $250,000 via supply chain process improvement (12 month period)
  • Reduced waiting time for patients for critical medical procedures
  • Increased patient and physician satisfaction

Knowledge Management:

Global Energy Firm Improves Business Results through Knowledge Sharing

A major global energy firm, with technical and operations centers dispersed across the globe, recognized that important knowledge was not being captured and shared. Operational incidents were occurring, with evidence that the same mistakes were being repeated. The loss of senior technical personnel had resulted in gaps in knowledge and experience critical for future success, with this problem expected to get worse as increasing numbers of the "baby boomers" in the workforce reached retirement. Important information from past projects and operations was either missing or difficult and time consuming to locate. Finally, pinpointing experts in the organization best suited to offer advice on complex tasks was haphazard.

The firm had previously recognized the importance of sharing knowledge, with some isolated steps taken to address the issue. However, a holistic approach or strategy was lacking that addressed the issues in a coordinated manner.

A small internal team was formed to address the challenge that also included the consulting team as well as other external experts. The team concluded that a holistic approach was required that offered a mix of people, process, and technology elements. A plan was prepared and approved by senior management that included both a near term focus for some quick wins, as well as longer term efforts to broaden and sustain the improvements. The action taken included:

  • Leadership began to consistently set the expectation that capturing and sharing of knowledge was part of the job.
  • Critical knowledge areas were identified, and repositories for each of these were initiated using a simple and user friendly technology.
  • Personnel with critical experience and skills that were planning to leave the organization participated in a knowledge capture and retention process.
  • Networks and Communities of Practice focused on the critical knowledge areas were created and charged with accountability for capturing, codifying, and sharing lessons learned and best practices.
  • Knowledge sharing processes (such as peer assists and after action reviews) were simplified and improved. A simple web application for capturing lessons learned and the associated improvement actions was developed and deployed for teams.

Significant business results were delivered including:

  • Documented business value of over $100 million dollars from capturing and applying lessons learned.
  • Reduced time and effort to locate valuable information and expertise.
  • Operational performance benchmarked as one of the top performers in the industry.

What Our Clients Say About Our Work

Strategy Development and Deployment, Organization Redesign, and Leadership Development:

"Strategic Focus Associaties has been a very productive partnership in the development of our clinical service lines. They are highly flexible and yet very effective in managing the change process. They are particularly effective in getting large working groups to focus on the key issue at hand. I am very pleased with their work and our outcomes. "

Patrick J Cawley, MD, MBA, FHM
Chief Medical Officer
Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center

Strategy Development and Deployment, Organization Redesign, and Leadership Development:

"Kathy and Gary have been consultants to my college for over two years in implementing organizational restructuring, leadership development, and strategic planning. They provide exceptional insights and have a style of engagement that draws together multiple constituencies to work for a common goal. Through their work my college has advanced."

Mark Sothmann, PhD
Dean, College of Health Professions
Medical University of South Carolina