Small Team. Big Work.

We get excited when we have an opportunity to work with young organizations. Nothing beats sitting down with smart, energized teams and savvy, hard-working leaders in those early months when the initial vision remains clear, commitment runs high and a passion for revolutionary change is palatable.

Enter Virginia Commonwealth University’s Office for Health Innovation, and its small team of 15 professionals focused on health care and community engagement. The Office’s team is charged with charting the VCU Health System’s course through the Affordable Care Act, and developing new approaches to care management, even as it coordinates the delivery of care to thousands of underserved individuals in our community.

It’s a small team. It’s not small work.

So it’s no wonder that during our first conversations with the team our attention shifted to the Vision and Mission of the organization. Finding clear, simple and inspirational language that frames the complicated work of health policy, health innovation and education, care delivery and health management is challenging!

Leave it to a smart, energized team to hammer it out in less than an hour.

After taking the team through some idea generating activities to help put words and shape to the strategic challenges that the Office for Health Innovation must address, Sarah Milston and I were impressed with the alignment within the group. This was a group that knew what it needed to do – and was eager to strengthen its own alignment and start building a game-changing strategy.

We ended our first session with a draft Vision and Mission, and an emerging set of strategic outcomes that will serve as cornerstones for the team’s new strategic plan. We’ll come back together later in June to begin to build that plan.