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Shared Vision—A Key Aspect of Strategic Planning
As indicated in previous Audiology Today (AT) and AT E-Newsletter columns, the Academy Board of Directors has been involved in the initial stages of strategic planning for the future. There are a number of ways to contemplate and plan for the future, such as visioning the possible, the likely, or the preferred future. Under the guidance of the Forbes Group, a strategic consulting firm, the board has chosen to plan for the preferred future of the profession and the Academy. Thus far, the board has used several strategies to collect data and information that will help us define and work toward a preferred future for the American Academy of Audiology, including the following: Project 2020 Vision Think Tanks held around the country, a member survey in fall 2010 that addressed many of the thoughts, ideas, and issues that surfaced from think tank participants, and finally, an environmental scan that was conducted by the Forbes Group.
The think tanks generated a number of items to include in the Member Survey. For example, the survey asked members to rate the importance of initiatives that had been suggested during the think tanks. When asked to prioritize the importance to the profession of eight of these suggested initiatives, the top three priorities were: (1) obtain direct access for Medicare patients to audiology services (approximately 80 percent of responders ranked this as important or very important); (2) promote legislative initiatives or professional initiatives to “own” all aspects of the audiology scope of practice (hearing evaluations, VNG, etc. (approximately 76 percent of responders ranked this as important or very important); (3) support academic accreditation standards that will assure quality AuD programs and graduates (approximately 69 percent ranked this as important or very important). When members were asked to prioritize projects currently underway by the Academy, the need to continue efforts to increase reimbursement for audiologists was the most highly rated by members, at approximately 81 percent.
The think tanks and the Member Survey provided very useful data for the board to consider during the strategic planning process. The Forbes Group environmental scan has provided even greater depth and insight into the future, and will be reviewed carefully by the board at its meeting in Chicago, prior to AudiologyNOW! 2011. The environmental scan conducted by the Forbes Group included research regarding current trends and emerging issues, as well as interviews with Academy members and stakeholders.
We have received a detailed analysis report from the Forbes Group, which has condensed much of the data collected thus far, and which provides suggestions of a number of approaches that the board might take to secure a preferred future for the Academy and for the profession. Once we have analyzed the substantial amount of data collected via the external scan, we will be in a far greater position to plan strategically for the future of the Academy. The board will keep you posted as we go forward with this essential task of planning for the future. We greatly appreciate the collaborative efforts to achieve the best outcomes in our shared vision planning.