Healthcare could learn from German soccer

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How amazing it was to watch the soccer world cup and to see a team reap the benefits of a long-term strategy.

In the start-up world innovative business models are the talk of the day. Entrepreneurs are not only developing new products and services, but are challenging the status quo on how value is delivered to customers. In many cases entirely new industries are being formed.
Value creation is one of the challenges the healthcare industry has been struggling with for years. Many have written about this topic before, but we are still struggling to capture and deliver value to patients.

To really deliver value an organization needs a clear long-term vision and strategy based on innovation and value. This belief must be so well embedded within the organization, that no short term gain will distract the organization from the long term plan.

The soccer world cup in Brazil showed us what could be achieved if you have a well-articulated long term strategic plan and not playing for the romantic notions of passion and desire (as Ken Early described Brazil’s effort). Germany’s success was not (only) a result of a passionate team talk or playing to the expectations of the crowd. No, it started about 10 years ago after some major losses. They formulated a vision, set goals and created objectives. The got the buy-in of all the stakeholders, created structures, made investments in talent and executed the plan meticulously.

“Without a clear strategy, an organization lacks the clarity of direction to attain true excellence”. - Michael Porter

This is one of the major shortcomings of healthcare providers. You need a clear strategy. You need to map your own path to excellence. Define the value proposition you will deliver to patients, which problems you will solve, and which needs you will satisfy.
Michael Porter described three types of strategic problems common to the healthcare sector. Firstly, the range of services offered is too broad. This is where a hospital or physician group’s strategy is to become a one-stop shop. The services offered could also be too narrow and unintegrated. This is, in most cases, the result of the shotgun approach where the various service lines offered are narrow and discrete. The last mistake is where the focus is too localized, with no vision to compete geographically even in areas of medical excellence.


Which soccer team's strategy does your clinic, practice or hospital value?

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