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How to Grow Your Strategic Mindset

“It just completely caught us off guard.”

That’s a statement you never want to hear as a business leader. But today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world makes it incredibly difficult to plan and predict the future. At the same time, we’re all under pressure to move faster and get more done. So while thinking – and strategic thinking, in particular – is a key leadership responsibility, it often gets pushed aside in the midst of the day-to-day challenges of running the business.

In fact, there’s almost a universal resistance to long-term thinking in many organizations because we’re so focused on today’s problems: Are we making our numbers? Did the products get shipped? Did we resolve the customer issue?

The problem is, when you’re not thinking strategically, not only is it hard to see what’s coming, it’s hard to know where you are. A leader I spoke to recently put it this way: “When I’m mired in the swamp, it’s hard to see anything, much less the future.”


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About the Author

Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann InternationalAnn Herrmann-Nehdi is CEO of Herrmann International, the originators and trailblazers of Whole Brain® Thinking and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®). A thought leader in her field, Ann has worked with many hundreds of organizations around the world of all sizes and industries, helping them increase their thinking agility to improve profitability, leadership, productivity, innovation and overall business results. She is an AthenaOnline management expert and a faculty member of the Institute of Management Studies.

Using Healthcare Performance Management as a Business Strategy

Explore how Healthcare Performance Management (HPM), combined with self-insurance, can empower organizations not only to better manage their governance, risk and compliance exposures, but also to deliver bottom-line business value to a company.

By applying the right people, processes and technology to those three focus areas, HPM can empower companies to execute a powerful business strategy that can reduce healthcare costs while also improving employees’ health outcomes.

The first step rests with how companies choose to deliver health benefits to their employees. While every organization’s healthcare plans differ, for example UCLA benefits offers custom packages for each employee, there are two ways coverage can be provided: through fully insured plans, in which they purchase coverage from an insurance company, or through self-insured plans, in which they directly cover employees’ healthcare expenses.

Self-insurance recently has become the option of choice for a majority of the workforce. In 2008, the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that 55 percent of workers with health insurance were covered by a self-insured plan. The decision to self-insure has been embraced enthusiastically by large corporations – 89 percent of workers employed in firms with 5,000 or more employees were in self-insured plans in 2008.

By self-insuring, employers can control the costs of providing health benefits to their employees because it allows them to:

  • Obtain more specific information about their actual healthcare expenditures.
  • Control costs, because instead of paying health insurance premiums that typically rise 9 to 10 percent per year, they can pay for routine expenses such as doctor visits, procedures and prescription drugs through a self-insured plan, obtaining lower-cost catastrophic or “stop-loss” policies to cover major medical events.
  • Enable better “human capital management” by recognizing in advance what types of health events are emerging in their covered population in time to help employees avoid a catastrophic event.

An HPM strategy has profound implications for senior management in the three critical areas of governance, risk and compliance. This manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Governance requires the active engagement of business units beyond human resources – strategic planners, financial and operations executives, and the IT group.
  • Self-insured firms must manage their own risk, so access to real-time data that is tied to the plan is imperative.
  • Although corporations have dedicated resources to compliance activities, an HPM system is automated and therefore can deliver those required reports as an ancillary function. This way, organizations can generate the necessary documentation for auditors, regulators and others without devoting valuable resources to that single function.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance Management Strategies for Self-Insured Health Plans: How Senior Executives Can Use Healthcare Performance Management as a Business Strategy explores how HPM, combined with self-insurance, empowers organizations to better manage their governance, risk and compliance exposures, and delivers bottom-line value to the company.

Click here to download a complimentary copy of this Healthcare Performance Management Institute report.

Want to learn more?

Listen to our recent StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective podcast interview with George Pantos, Executive Director of the Healthcare Performance Management Institute during which we discuss how companies can keep their current health plans in light of the recently passed healthcare legislation and under what circumstances they may wish to do so.

Capabilities Driven Mergers & Acquisitions – Advantaged Capabilities, part 5 of 5

What role do capabilities play in successful mergers?

Too big to fail has proven to be a flawed notion. In Advantaged Capabilities, Booz & Company partners Gerald Adolph and Paul Leinwand conclude their discussion on the role of capabilities in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and explain why pursuing a capabilities-driven M&A strategy produces more successful companies that enjoy a right to win.

Advantaged Capabilities is the fifth of a series of five interviews focusing on capabilities-driven mergers and acquisitions. Previous editions include:


About the Authors

Gerald Adolph is a New York-based Senior Partner with Booz & Company with a specialty in strategy and operations for technology-driven businesses. His work primarily focuses on assisting clients with growth strategy, new business development, and industry restructuring. He has led numerous assignments in corporate and portfolio strategy as well as business unit strategy. In addition, he deals with value chain and industry restructuring driven by technology changes, and how companies respond to these disruptions and opportunities. Gerald is the co-author of Merge Ahead: Mastering the Five Enduring Trends of Artful M&A with Justin Pettit. To read Gerald’s complete biography, click here.

Paul Leinwand is a Booz & Company partner based in Chicago. He works in the consumer, media, and digital practice and focuses on capabilities-driven strategy for consumer products companies. Paul is the co-author of The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy. To read Paul’s complete biography, click here.

How to Stress-Test Your Strategy

Robert Simons, the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, explains why management teams must ask themselves tough strategy questions. During this interview, Robert covers:

  • obstacles business leaders face when executing their business strategy
  • why companies need to focus on one primary customer
  • the importance in choosing which among shareholders, customers, or employees are most important to the company’s success
  • how executives should decide which few metrics to focus on
  • key approaches to effectively making tough priority selection decisions

Robert Simons on the StrategyDriven Podcast

Last month, we were privileged to talk with Robert about his new book, Seven Strategy Questions, on the StrategyDriven Podcast. Listen as we explore the seven strategy questions that can help an organization’s leaders identify gaps within their strategy and its execution.

Capabilities Driven Mergers & Acquisitions – Integrating Capabilities, part 4 of 5

What role do capabilities play in successful mergers?

Too big to fail has proven to be a flawed notion. In Integrating Capabilities, Booz & Company partners Gerald Adolph and Paul Leinwand continue their discussion on the role of capabilities in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and explain why pursuing a capabilities-driven M&A strategy produces more successful companies that enjoy a right to win.

Integrating Capabilities is the fourth of a series of five interviews focusing on capabilities-driven mergers and acquisitions. Other editions include:


About the Authors

Gerald Adolph is a New York-based Senior Partner with Booz & Company with a specialty in strategy and operations for technology-driven businesses. His work primarily focuses on assisting clients with growth strategy, new business development, and industry restructuring. He has led numerous assignments in corporate and portfolio strategy as well as business unit strategy. In addition, he deals with value chain and industry restructuring driven by technology changes, and how companies respond to these disruptions and opportunities. Gerald is the co-author of Merge Ahead: Mastering the Five Enduring Trends of Artful M&A with Justin Pettit. To read Gerald’s complete biography, click here.

Paul Leinwand is a Booz & Company partner based in Chicago. He works in the consumer, media, and digital practice and focuses on capabilities-driven strategy for consumer products companies. Paul is the co-author of The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy. To read Paul’s complete biography, click here.