Alexander Norbash, MD, MS, American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Strategic Planning Committee Co-chair, and Chair and Professor of Radiology at the University of California, San Diego, contributed this piece.

ACR leaders, guided by a member driven strategic planning committee, are developing a new strategic plan to position the organization for success over the next three to five years. In an August Voice of Radiology blog, Frank J. Lexa, MD, MBA, FACR, covered the initial phase of the strategic planning process – environmental research. Today, I’m pleased to share the second phase of the process – setting the strategic direction.

The strategic direction includes the vision, mission and overarching goal that will guide the planning process. Each piece has an essential role in shaping strategy for the organization.

A shared vision is a concise description, often motivational, of a preferred future in a five to ten-year timeframe. The vision is shaped by the opportunities and threats in the organization’s landscape while providing a guiding beacon to work toward. It is the longest point in the planning horizon.

The mission is a brief statement of the organization’s reason for being. It describes who we are and why we exist. An organization’s mission is central to planning and focus as it creates the boundaries within which operations continue.

The overarching goal is set with a three to five-year time horizon in mind and serves as an incremental step toward the longer-term vision. It is often narrower than the vision and mission, yet serves a directional and motivational role with measurable targets.

Key drivers of success are developed after the strategic direction begins to come into focus. The key drivers are areas in which an organization must achieve results to move closer to the overarching goal, and are drawn from all the work to date in the environmental and direction phases. The key drivers serve as the framework for the final phase of strategic planning.

Moving ahead, the strategic planning committee will consider possible outcomes from the key drivers for success. The outcomes will lead to strategic objectives and an overall strategy map to guide our organization to success over the next three to five years.

For the latest updates on the strategic planning process, please visit and watch for additional updates in October.

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