Running a successful business has now become a challenging endeavor in terms of the competition and customers’ expectations from the service introduced. For this reason, enterprises are to become well-aware of their strengths and weaknesses to come up with an agile strategic framework that would benefit all the stakeholders. Hence, it is of crucial importance to develop an efficient strategy that would not have distortions with the company’s core mission, vision, and values. In terms of the following paper, the patterns of such symbiosis will be analyzed in the example of the Kaiser Permanente enterprise.
At the end of the 20th century, researchers came to realize that one of the major ways to ensure a company’s strategic success was to create a statement that would claim its uniqueness and identity in the market. As a result, the notion of the mission statement was created, implying that every enterprise should define its core goal to provide potential customers and employees with a general idea of what is behind the organization’s curtain (Alegre et al., 2018). Thus, the mission statement of a business has the power of defining all further strategic operations, as they are all aimed at satisfying the established goal. Speaking of Kaiser Permanente’s mission statement, it is formulated as follows:
Kaiser Permanente exists to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. (“Who we are,” n.d.)
Considering the information above, it should be noted that the current company’s endeavors in the field are living up to the mission outlined by the organization. However, the notion of affordable health care services might be interpreted in various contexts, questioning the relevance of this aspect in the overall statement. That is, when speaking of healthcare accessibility in the US sociopolitical context whatsoever, the idea of affordable medical service sounds rather utopian and subjective in terms of the social groups concerned. Thus, it is important to either emphasize the context of such a mission or entirely omit it.
When launching a business, especially when it comes to the segment of medical service, a company is to ask itself a few major questions to define some primary causes and goals behind the creation. Thus, is mission statement is related to the question “what,” the company’s vision is rather associated with the “why” question, implying the positive influence one would have in the long term (Kirkpatrick, 2016). In the context of the Kaiser Permanente organizational fundamentals, the vision statement is formulated as follows:
We are trusted partners in total health, collaborating with people to help them thrive, creating communities that are among the healthiest in the nation, and inspiring greater health for America and the world. (Cooke, 2018, p. 3)
Taking a closer look at the idea expressed above, it might be outlined that the organization itself is doing its best to relate to its vision. For instance, it is performing constant collaborations aimed at raising the healthcare standards for all population groups. Moreover, the overall vision statement is quite beneficial in terms of its wording, as it might be adjusted to practically any socio-economic environment, making Kaiser Permanente an agile organization able to adapt to digitalization and social trends quickly. Finally, the following framework allows the unit to dedicate equal attention to health plans, medical staff assistance, equipment assessment, and research aspects.
The foundation of every organization lies within determining some of the core values that it refuses to breach under any circumstances to remain true to both the employees and the customers. In Kaiser Permanente’s case, these values are integrated into a compass, which unites all the notions under the umbrella term “patient and member focus” (Cooke, 2018). The other four notions that derive from the core value concern exceptional service provision, high quality, beneficial workplaces, and affordability.
Considering the following aspects, it might be concluded that the fundamental merits of the organization create an absolute harmony with its mission and vision, building a steady foundation for achieving tangible results with its actions. However, to obtain a better understanding of the enterprise’s functionality, it is important to dwell upon the strategic planning and its correspondence to the aforementioned aspects.
Strategy and Personal Perspective
Defining the company’s strategy is one of the most sophisticated aspects of developing a thriving organizational model that would comply with the founders’ beliefs and expectations. Thus, to establish a strategy, one has to look into a variety of factors, including actions to increase one’s competitiveness and correct the already existing mistakes and distortions, adjustment to the target market, approaches to activity management, and opportunity utilization (Thompson & Strickland, 2003). Later, these factors are converted into tangible objectives that are to be achieved in either the short or long-term future of the organization. To ensure their implementation, the following objectives are to be constantly revised by the socio-economic realities of the strategy.
When speaking of Kaiser Permanente in particular, it is important to outline which desirables should be considered primary in the context of the organization’s values and mission. Hence, it is of paramount significance for the organization to ensure healthcare affordability among community residents, making everything it can to bring the mission to life. For this purpose, Kaiser Permanente outlined some major strategic objectives revolving around financial accessibility, including:
- Driving performance at a lower cost by using relevant technologies and approaches;
- Pursue the idea of constant growth, placing a major focus on the customers;
- Lead the national healthcare patterns through the company’s relevance and revolutionary approaches (Cooke, 2018).
While the following aims are quite relevant in terms of today’s healthcare-patient paradigm, their empirical application might be challenging due to a lack of specifics. Researchers claim the strategic frameworks of the organizations to be measurable and achievable by establishing some key performance indicators (KPIs) like specific percent of market share and growth to be achieved within a certain timeframe (Thompson & Strickland, 2003).
When speaking of the financial objectives of the strategy, Kaiser Permanente is primarily focused on the issue of gaining profit while preserving the affordable price policy through promoting investments of cooperation with stakeholders (Brown, 2020). Thus, the planning framework does not quite coincide with the general points of financial objectives planning, which include the calculation of annual revenue increase percentage and annual increases in shareholder value.
Taking into consideration the overall strategic objectives of Kaiser Permanente as a not-for-profit organization, it might be outlined that one of the major strengths of the organization is its consistency in terms of goals and expectations. That is, the paradigm of values, mission, vision, and strategy is not contradictory, building a steady symbiosis pattern within the framework. As a result, their business outcomes are focused on the outcomes stated in the mission, pursuing the goal of introducing affordable healthcare by involving more investors in the field. The only recommendation for a change in the future will be to outline more measurable strategic plans for beneficial and precise report analyses.
Alegre, I., Berbegal-Mirabent, J., Guerrero, A., & Mas-Machuca, M. (2018). The real mission of the mission statement: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of Management and Organization, 24(4), 456-473.
Brown, M. (2020). 2019 financial results for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, hospitals. Web.
Cooke, K. (2018). Kaiser Permanente: integration, innovation, and transformation in health care. Web.
Kirkpatrick, S. A. (2016). Build a better vision statement: Extending research with practical advice. Rowman & Littlefield.
Thompson, A. A., & Strickland, A. J. (2003). Strategic management: concepts and cases (13th ed.). McGraw-Hill.
Who we are. (n.d.). Web.