The UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH) continued its strategic planning initiative this spring with Blue Sky presentations from Walnut Way Conservation Corporation co-founder and director Sharon Adams and futurist Rebecca Ryan, plus an interactive opportunities conference at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.
The events built on the DFMCH’s first Blue Sky conference held in March.
Blue Sky II (Sharon Adams): “Open the Door”
“You’re doing so much already,” she said. But as we formally transition to a department of family medicine and community health, she offered the following advice:
- Expect to expend lots of energy to engage colleagues in a change process.
- Give voice to as many perspectives as possible.
- Develop a vision and pathways where resources are attractive for implementation.
- Nurture authentic relationships that give people the opportunity to come to community.
- Put learners and faculty in communities, and hold yourselves accountable to the outcomes.
“What ideas are you already stirring that you would embrace and include in our community?”
—Sharon Adams, MSW
“What ideas are you already stirring that you would embrace and include in our community?” she asked. “Don’t run away from what you know is the right thing to because the money doesn’t appear to be there. Open the door.”
Blue Sky III (Rebecca Ryan): Four Forces for the Future
Foresight, she explained, asks us to put our minds 20 years into the future, ask “what’s plausible?” and then determine how to prepare for that future.
She then discussed four key forces that will influence the future—resources, technology, demographics and governance—and how they may impact health care.
“Things that are rule-based and linear can be roboticized. What will be left are things that only humans can do: compassion, bedside manner, innovation.”
For example, technology will always outpace our comfort with it. “Things that are rule-based and linear can be robotiziced,” she said. “What will be left are things that only humans can do: compassion, bedside manner, innovation.”
Other forces include changing family structures, the shrinking middle class and pressure to reduce health care costs and increase patient (and practitioner) satisfaction.
In light of those forces, strategic foresight comes not from asking how to do our current work differently, but asking why we do it in the first place – and creating our future from there.
Opportunities Conference: Building the Foundation
Approximately 65 DFMCH faculty and staff met in early June for a day-long opportunities conference designed to strengthen the foundation of the department’s emerging strategic plan.
“Today is an opportunity to give the strategic plan the best chance for implementation.”
Mercedes Alonso from The Napier Group facilitated small-group sessions in which participants generated concrete solutions for organizational challenges.
Alonso also shared common themes that emerged from earlier surveys, including wellness and resiliency, teamwork, and recognition; participants voted on which themes were most important, and identified ways to address them in a future action plan.
Follow the entire strategic planning process here: https://inside.fammed.wisc.edu/strategic-planning
Published: July 2015