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Strategic Planning Update: ‘My Happiness Gauge is Off the Charts’

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 9:00 AM

Aesthetic Medicine, BSM News, BSM Products and Services

Written by: Bruce Maller

Bruce Maller
President and CEO

We just returned home from another fantastic BSM Consulting strategic planning meeting. This year’s meeting was held in beautiful Napa Valley, Calif. September is a wonderful time of year in Napa; a time when the valley’s internationally renowned winemakers and vineyard owners celebrate the harvest of their grapes.

Like our colleagues in the wine business, we take this time to celebrate the fruits of our labor. We acknowledge our accomplishments in the past 12 months and look ahead at what we need to do differently — or better — to meet the dynamic needs of our clients.

Having facilitated these meetings for nearly 30 years, I always find there is a theme that anchors our meetings. This year was no different. To fully appreciate this year’s theme, I’ll provide some background.

Over the past 12 months, BSM has achieved several important milestones. These milestones (or goals) were harvested during last year’s planning retreat. At the 2016 meeting, we chose to focus on a handful of important opportunities that we identified within the context of assessing our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) while also considering relevant trends in our industry.

My favorite meeting moment

For me, one of the most enjoyable sessions from our Napa event was a discussion about what we can do internally as a company to create a “healthier” work environment. It was motivating to see the level of ownership expressed by the team. We received many great suggestions from new and tenured team members. We formed a task force whose sole mission will be to “own” responsibility for vetting and implementing workplace enhancement opportunities. The task force includes a mix of bright and passionate individuals who will bring diverse ideas and positive energy to this important initiative. Our goal is to rollout the first round of ideas over the next two months. This is going to be fun!

At our 2016 meeting, we agreed to pursue three key imperatives. They were:

  • To leverage our brand in the eye care sector by expanding our service offerings to include billing, coding, and compliance support.
  • To expand our presence in the aesthetic medicine sector. For years we have had a presence in this rapidly growing sector, however, we had never been strategic in our approach.
  • To strengthen our team by adding new consultants and administrative personnel to support our expansion efforts.

I am happy to report we achieved each imperative in the past 12 months. Granted, we have much work ahead to effectively assimilate and integrate our new team members and service lines. However, it is always a case of taking care of first things first — we had to get the “people part” right!

Earlier this year, we hired two outstanding consultants for our aesthetic medicine team. In addition, we successfully merged Rose & Associates, a pre-eminent ophthalmology billing and compliance company, into BSM. Contemporaneously, we added several talented support team members to our expanding roster.

These activities lead back to the theme of this year’s meeting: To focus our efforts on assimilating and integrating our new service lines and team members. Given this backdrop, this year’s meeting included the rollout of realistic and detailed business plans for aesthetic medicine and coding and compliance. In addition, we spent several hours training our expanded team to understand and appreciate how we can effectively develop and implement even better solutions for our clients and coworkers.

Of course, return on investment of our off-site planning meetings is always measured in terms of our ability to execute. This requires ongoing focus and discipline from our leadership team, as well as active engagement across the company. I’m confident that will not be a problem.

Measurement of success, however, can be quantified in different ways. Yes, we are indeed grounded in a commitment to improving our bottom line. However — and perhaps most important for me as the president and CEO of BSM — are measures of employee retention and satisfaction.

My happiness gauge is reflected in the growth and development of individuals and the addition of new team members. This is what motivates me at the core, inspires me to lead our team, and best serves our clients. Now back in the office, I can honestly say my happiness gauge is off the charts — thanks in large part to another inspirational and fun BSM strategic planning meeting.


  • Glenn Morley, BSM senior consultant said

    This was my first BSM strategic planning meeting, and I, too, have a "happiness gauge" that is off-the-charts high! I feel inspired, energized, and supported by an amazing team of very bright and wonderful people. Thank you!

  • Lori Poznansky, BSM senior consultant said

    As another "first-time" participant at this meeting, I was truly impressed by the level of engagement and commitment of all our BSM team members to the strategic planning process, to improving their own personal performance, and to our clientele! I can't wait for next year's meeting, where we will see the results of our 2017/2018 efforts!

  • Elizabeth Holloway, BSM senior consultant said

    Our strategic planning meetings are so invaluable and meaningful to our entire company! I appreciate the dialog about how to keep BSM growing strong, and I love getting to spend time with our fantastic team. Here's to a dynamic 2018!

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