Strategic planning usually has three major parts. The first is a vision or mission statement that outlines the goals and aspirations for the organization. The second session is a list of initiatives such as product launches, geographic expansions, and construction projects that the organization will conduct to pursue their goals. The third section which is the most intense section is the conversion of the initiatives into financials. The strategic plan becomes a budget’s descriptive front end, projecting five years of financials (Martin, 2014).
Looking into Acadia HealthCare 2020 Annual report it appears that their business strategy at that time consisted of focusing on U.S operations and strengthen their financial flexibility to extend Acadia’s market reach and enhance their service offerings in the U.S. In 2021 Acadia sold their U.K. facilities and used the proceeds from the U.K. transaction to pay down outstanding debt to help maximize the long-term value of their stockholders. The strategic plan now should be consistent with 2020’s strategic plan of facility expansion as a best return of investment, joint venture partnerships with health systems across the country to build new facilities, identifying markets throughout the country that are underserved with bed shortages for behavioral health treatment and acquisitions.
As I researched strategic planning, I came across an article with a more cynical view of the entire process. The author states that strategic planning is a terrible way to make strategy but an excellent way to cope with fear of the unknown. The premise of this article is that strategy is scary because it forces one to confront a future at which they can only guess. The author states that if executives can create a strategic plan that is comfortable and represents a solution to a potential problem then it is not truly a strategy at all.
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I’m just wondering what your thoughts?
Martin, R. L. (2014). The big lie of strategic planning. Harvard business review, 92(1/2), 3-8.
Acadia Healthcare 2020 Annual Report