Nearly every business organization, including nonprofits, has a strategic plan. A strategic plan helps to ensure that the organization is doing the right things now and in the future. Strategic planning is one type of planning, but is the overarching type of planning, with other types such as operational, business, resource, organizational, and contingency planning subsumed under it. Strategic planning is often undertaken with the future in mind, usually at least several years in advance. It includes founding or changing the organization’s mission and vision, as well its overall strategic goals. It actually helps define the business. For example, a pharmacy can decide whether it’s in the relatively narrow business of selling medications or in the broader business of health and wellness. This will help to define the competition and establish a framework for decision-making. An overly narrow strategic plan can result in the business becoming obsolete or losing customers, sometimes even rather quickly. The planning must be taken seriously, though, and afforded the proper time and resources for the planning process itself; otherwise, it simply becomes a waste of time and a running joke among your employees and customers.
Feletto et al undertook a comprehensive strategic planning approach to developing a framework for cognitive services implementation across an entire nation (Australia).1 They approached the planning process with a key value in mind; specifically, organizational flexibility, when approaching community pharmacists in a survey of their business practices. They found operational, structural, and strategic flexibility to be critical in building the necessary capacity to construct, implement, and sustain cognitive pharmaceutical services. Having capacity is seen as a necessary component to move toward patient-centered care. Capacity means more than just space in a building. It also refers to financial, logistic, personnel, and even cultural (the right mindset) capacity to expand a business, or strategically rethink its mission.
Additional information about Strategic Planning in Pharmacy Operations can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.
1Feletto E, Wilson LK, Roberts AS, et al. Measuring organizational flexibility in community pharmacy: Building the capacity to implement cognitive pharmaceutical services. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2011;7:27-38.