As a membership association for more than 2,000 medical professionals, BAUS, which is a charity run by a board of trustees, a wider council, and a staff team, had many viewpoints to take into consideration when creating its new strategy.
The Eastside People team helped to ensure everyone connected with BAUS was engaged and enthusiastic about the strategic planning process. The project opened with a board workshop in summer 2022, to ensure that the trustees understood the process. This was followed by a survey of members and consultation exercises with the staff team, and further meetings, including a two-day autumn event for council members facilitated by Eastside People.
Eastside People carried out an analysis of the external environment and competitors, and organised and analysed the information and opinions that were collected.
The survey of BAUS members, discussions with the trustees, workshops and the external environment analysis highlighted three areas for the organisation to focus upon: the provision of urological care, member education and the level of engagement of BAUS members. Based on these findings, Eastside People’s consultants supported the management team as well as the President and Vice President in their roles, and helped develop the strategy itself along with its accompanying plans.
BAUS had moved forward since its last strategic planning process, so it wasn’t simply a case of duplicating what went before. It was important for Eastside People to cultivate new relationships with an almost entirely new group of trustees and to introduce the board to a new model and way of thinking about strategic planning in order to enable an effective and mutual journey. “By the end, the trustees had real confidence in this robust process and that was really pleasing to hear,” says Anne.
Crafting the questions that go into surveys of members and other stakeholders is an art in itself. “What you get back is only as good as the questions you ask,” says Anne, and she valued Eastside People’s input into how to do this effectively.
What’s more, Anne points out, external consultants with experience across many organisations brought the confidence that was necessary to keep a project like this moving forward. The Eastside People team gained respect across BAUS for the approach to strategic planning that they brought. And deep experience is helpful when times are tough. “When you hit a bump in the road, you need people like that who can help you navigate through,” says Anne.
Anne particularly valued Jean Barclay’s ‘outcomes-focused approach’ which helped to untangle some tricky issues. “Jean reiterated the outcome that we were working towards, and I really liked that,” says Anne. “That led to clear actions and objectives.”
“We were delighted to work with Eastside People again and they are always able to pull in people with the expertise that we are looking for.” says Anne.
BAUS is now working on the finishing touches to its new strategic plan, which will enable it to continue to deliver its mission of promoting the highest standards in urology for the benefit of patients through education, research and clinical excellence.
“I have no doubt that the strategy wouldn’t have been as robust without Eastside People,” says Anne. “We will have a road map for BAUS for the next four years, which is critical for any organisation.”