Read more of the submission
2019 Strategic Goals – Are they measurable?
The Board is very intentional during the strategic planning session to create measurable goals. Overall, the IMGMA 2019 strategic goals were measurable but it is noted that there was some opportunity to be more specific. During each Board meeting, every goal was reviewed, progress was updated, and the Board had hard discussions in regard to whether the goal was something that we could execute on or were we being too ambitious.
2019 Strategic Goals – Why
During the strategic planning session, the Board begins the discussion with identifying barriers and opportunities. IMGMA, along with many other state associations, is not unique in that declining membership and Board succession seems to be one of the greatest concerns. The question became, what can we do about it?
Although some of the goals may not seem complex, IMGMA was intentional in establishing a culture that 1. Shows appreciation for those sitting around the table who have taken the time out of their busy professional schedule to be on the Board 2. Set a meeting cadence that was manageable and 3. Develop a structure which would ensure the Board reviewed success of events, tasks assigned, and identify what is working well and what needs to be improved upon during each Board meeting.
The IMGMA has seen a decline in membership and we are not sure all the reasons why. The Board is aware that some of the decline is due to local health systems purchasing private practices and ultimately a decline in independent practices and leaders throughout the state. IMGMA has seen membership from within the health systems ebb and flow. At times, there are several members from the different health systems and then the membership drops off when we lose an advocate from the health system. In 2019, the Membership and Education Directors created a Membership and Education Committee to gather input from both current members and non-members on what is of value, why they are or are not members and what can be improved upon.
Oftentimes, members of an association, like IMGMA, do not know what it entails to be on the Board, so the Board was looking for simple ways to articulate the value of being an IMGMA member as well as a Board member. Each Board member wrote a couple of sentences of what being a member, and on the Board, means to them and what value it has brought to each of them both professionally and personally. A Board member was highlighted each month in the newsletter. Our hope is that people would read these snippets and associate the value as well as consider joining the Board.
Providing education opportunities to our members is one of the most important offerings IMGMA offers to its members. In 2019, the Board and Conference committee agreed to rethink the conference and try some new ideas discussed during the State Leadership Conference.
The Board also agreed to explore some new education opportunities, including sharing an event (online) with Alaska and a regional conference.
2019 Strategic Goals – Achievement
Appreciation: A placeholder was added to the Board meeting agenda to allow the Board time to reflect, appreciate or take a few moments of self-care. The President identified a different Board member throughout the year to lead this exercise. Over the course of the year, the Board participated in 3 Good Things, meditation and general appreciation by the President for their time and dedication.
Accountability: Prior to the first Board meeting, a standing agenda topic was added to review outstanding tasks, the strategic plan and to hear a report out from each director. The Board found that reviewing the outstanding tasks at each Board meeting helped move initiatives along and created a higher level of accountability. In addition, a Menti poll was created and each person answered questions regarding the effectiveness of the Board meeting and what went well and what could be improved on. Menti allowed the Board to answer honestly and anonymously (if that was important to them). The Menti allowed the President and Executive Director an opportunity to refocus efforts, improve the structure of the meetings and ensure Board members stayed engaged.
Membership and Education
The Membership and Education Directors created a small committee of IMGMA members with the addition of non-IMGMA members (are MGMA members). This group met on three different occasions to discuss various topics like; increasing membership, appealing to various groups in the Treasure Valley to encourage new members, ways to increase the offerings of IMGMA to align with the value that those MGMA only members felt there was, and additional ways to have a presence and promote outreach in the community. Through ideas and collaboration in this group, a membership survey was able to be produced to begin outreach to current IMGMA members to find out additional information on the topics suggested by the committee. The survey results are and will continue to be used to drive different efforts by the IMGMA board in 2019 and into 2020. In addition, some early 2020 goals were produced by the committee and will be carried out by the Membership and Education Directors.
The 2019 conference committee made the decision to try a new format for some of the breakout sessions and a new venue. Although we didn’t completely overhaul the conference, we changed enough to test the waters and received a great response from our attendees about the new formats and location. We definitely had some lessons learned through this process though. Our goal in 2019 was to really focus on leadership, motivation and burnout, which we accomplished. However, some of our members did express that there wasn’t enough variety and that we need to ensure we are offering something for each of the domains.
IMGMA would like to look at future opportunities to share education with other states, such as Alaska. The Board decided in 2019 that this was not the best use of our time and resources. In addition, one Board member has been representing Idaho for a multi-state/regional conference. Although Idaho will not be contributing financially, IMGMA will promote to members and support the efforts because we feel it is of value and want to ensure our healthcare leaders have every opportunity to continue to learn and grow.
The Board felt developing a cash reserve was very important for future years. Each year, IMGMA struggles to pay for good speakers or offer education that may be outside of the normal offerings. A cash reserve also helps protect the association if there should be a bad year. In 2019, the Treasurer created a policy and recommended a cash reserve amount, which was adopted by the Board.
2019 Strategic Goals – Lessons Learned
As mentioned before, the greatest challenge and lesson learned each year is to set goals that are reasonable and truly something that our volunteer Board can accomplish during the year. If the Board members cannot be successful, there is a sense of frustration and they quit, which does not benefit our members to have constant turnover. There is something to be said for keeping it simple.
Healthcare is changing. People and their learning styles and what they want from an association are changing. This year, we made a cognoscente effort to be mindful of how people want to learn, what they want to learn and where they want to learn. At the end of the day, our lesson learned is that we need to continue to listen to our members feedback, be flexible and adaptable. What has “always worked” may not be what works today. We may not always be successful trying new things but we don’t know until we try. The status quo will not gain us new members or solicit leaders to join the Board and help make a difference.
Finally, being more strategic in developing a pipeline of individuals for succession planning is critical to our continued success. We have had multiple years where no one raises their hand to volunteer and this is a problem. Although we accomplished great things in 2019, we need to be diligent in recruiting and retaining