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David Teuscher, MD, presented the new AAOS Strategic Plan during the March Board of Directors meeting as Frederick M. Azar, MD, looked on.


Published 4/1/2014
G. Jake Jaquet

AAOS Board of Directors Adopts New Strategic Plan

“Vision 20/20” designed to guide future decisions

During the AAOS Board of Directors meeting during the 2014 AAOS Annual Meeting, the Board adopted a new strategic plan, mission statement, and vision statement for the AAOS. “Vision 20/20” outlines the Academy’s core values and strategic domains, which are supported by essential components, goals, objectives, and strategies.

“A year ago David Teuscher, MD, and a workgroup were charged with structuring a strategic plan to serve as a guide for AAOS decision-making to the year 2020,” said then AAOS President Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, “from mission and vision to core values and essential components. Their efforts over the past year resulted in the plan presented to the Board at its meeting this past Monday, and it was adopted by unanimous vote.”

In addition to Dr. Teuscher as chair, the Strategic Planning Project Team included the following members of the board: Annunziato (Ned) Amendola, MD; Joseph Bosco, MD; David Halsey, MD; David Mansfied, MD; and Michael Schafer, MD. AAOS staff representation on the team included Chief Operating Officer Rich Stewart as lead staff; Chief Executive Officer Karen L. Hackett, FACHE, CAE; Barbara Hoffman; and Jennifer Jones.

The Project Team adopted the following five-point plan for meeting its charge:

  • Assess current and anticipated forces of change on the environment.
  • Within the context of that environmental assessment, review AAOS’s current strategic plan (mission, vision, and goals) and identify possible areas of modification.
  • Assess AAOS’s current competencies and strengths and identify potential opportunities and threats, as well as gaps requiring attention.
  • Solidify AAOS’s desired position in musculoskeletal care.
  • Develop strategic positioning recommendations, including modifications to the current mission and vision that will enable AAOS to maintain and expand its impact throughout the world.

Member involvement
“One of the key elements of the development of the strategic plan was the involvement of members at all levels,” observed Dr. Teuscher.

“At the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., last May, for example, more than 100 participants representing the Board of Directors, the Board of Councilors, the Board of Specialty Societies, the Leadership Fellows, state and specialty societies’ executive directors and the state society leadership provided input for the plan,” he continued. “Five workgroups were established, each focused on a distinct area—education, advocacy, membership, the ‘House of Orthopaedics,’ and quality and patient safety/research. The workgroups discussed at length the issues of greatest significance to their specific areas. The insights gained were critical to the development of the strategic plan.”

Mission and vision
A mission statement reflects an organization’s purpose. It puts the spotlight on what business an organization is presently in and the member needs it is endeavoring to serve. It also serves as a guide for day-to-day operations and as the foundation for future decision-making. To that end, the Project Team proposed as the AAOS Mission: Serving our profession to provide the highest quality musculoskeletal care.

A vision statement is aspirational, short, and concise. It is the image of an organization’s future—the direction it is headed, the member/constituent focus it should have, the market position it should try to occupy, the business activities to be pursued, and the capabilities it plans to develop. Consensus of the Project Team regarding the AAOS Vision was: Keeping the world in motion through the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.

Core values
Core values are the essential and enduring tenets of an organization. A small set of timeless guiding principles, core values require no external justification; they have intrinsic value to the members. The core values that make up the new strategic plan include:

  • Excellence—Develop, encourage, and reward the highest standards in all of our endeavors.
  • Professionalism—Be accountable for the highest professional, clinical, and ethical standards to our peers, our patients, and the public with integrity and transparency.
  • Leadership—Champion the development and advancement of future leaders, through example, education, and experience in our organization, our practices, and the world.
  • Collegiality—Embrace diversity and unity with our patients, our profession, and our stakeholders.
  • Lifelong Learning—Commit to professional education by advancing the science and art of orthopaedic medicine for the needs of our patients.

Strategic domains
Strategic domains are defined as areas of focus that have a high level of importance and/or priority for the members. The project team defined the following essential components as critical to the successful achievement of the AAOS mission and vision:

  • Education—Promote AAOS as the premier resource for orthopaedic learning.
  • Advocacy—Champion the interests of the orthopaedic profession to provide access to care and be a resourceful ally for orthopaedic surgeons and musculoskeletal patients.
  • Membership—Anticipate, understand, and respond to the needs of our current and future members.
  • Organizational excellence—Maintain an efficient, nimble, and lean governance and operational organization responsive to member needs.
  • Patient value and quality—Empower orthopaedic surgeons to be leaders in quality musculoskeletal healthcare teams as a means to deliver value to our patients through evidence-based cost-efficient practices.

Essential components
Each essential component is critical to the successful achievement of the AAOS mission and vision. The components resonate through some or all of the strategic domains. Essential components include the following:

  • communications
  • international initiatives
  • partnerships
  • research
  • technology

Goals, objectives, and strategies
Regarding the definitions of ‘goals,’ ‘objectives,’ and ‘strategies,’ the Project Team reached the following consensus:

Goals are general statements about what is needed to be achieved to meet our purpose, or mission, and address major issues facing the AAOS. Goals are broad primary outcomes for each of the five strategic domains—education, advocacy, organizational excellence, membership, and patient value.

Objectives are time-specific accomplishments aimed at achieving the goal.

Strategies answer the question of how to fulfill the objectives. There can be one strategy per objective or a set of strategies per objective.

Tactics and tasks
Tactics and tasks, according to the Project Team, are staff-derived and are not part of the detailed strategic plan adopted by the Board. Tactics and tasks are operational in nature and will change often as the environment changes. Tactics answer the question of how to fulfill a strategy. Tactics are like the roadmap for how to get there, but are subject to change due to road conditions and other environmental factors.

Tasks are the ongoing (daily, weekly, monthly) events conducted by staff in fulfilling a tactic.

With the approval of the Board of Directors, the work of the Strategic Planning Project Team was complete and the group was sunsetted.

“The value of the ‘Vision 20/20’ strategic plan cannot be overemphasized,” concluded Dr. Jacobs. “And Dr. Teuscher and the members of his workgroup are to be commended. The product of their efforts will do much to guide the Academy’s steps into the future, especially with respect to the transformation of the Academy’s educational offerings and its move to a portfolio model of providing benefits for members.”

G. Jake Jaquet is executive editor of AAOS Now. He can be reached at jaquet@aaos.org