When Stephanie Chedid arrived at Luther Manor as only the third Chief Executive Officer in the organization's history, she became the first woman to shoulder the role. A life plan community, Luther Manor has three campuses across Wisconsin and is home to over 500 residents and nearly the same number of employees.
"When I arrived at Luther Manor, not only was I new to the organization, but I was new to the senior living industry," said Stephanie. "Without a long standing belief of a "traditional" business model in place, I was able to immediately see how we 'could' be, instead of how we 'should' be."
Quickly, Stephanie began conducting research and laying the groundwork for a new strategic plan. The first step in Stephanie's five-month strategic planning process was to align her staff and board and create a united vision of the future. Stephanie introduced the concept of Futuring to inform decision making and guide the Luther Manor team. The team used Futuring to develop scenarios that resulted in the identification of critical forces they believed would shape their future. "These became the DNA in our strategic planning because no matter which scenario we faced, these elements would play an important part," Stephanie said. Futuring also provided preparation for staff and board members of possibilities they had never faced before – primarily those bringing new opportunities such as mergers, acquisitions, and new business lines.
"Futuring has engrained in us the need to be nimble in an environment of uncertainty. The quicker we can respond and adjust, the quicker we can recover from an unfavorable shift or take action to capitalize on a favorable shift," Stephanie said.
As the Luther Manor team began to think differently about their future, they adopted the theme, Strengthening our Foundation and Turning Toward the Future, an idea that is already coming to fruition. Luther Manor is now exploring new technologies and enhancing staff skills to respond to changes in payor dynamics and the emphasis on reducing re-hospitalization. Palm-sized ECG mobile devices and telemonitoring programs that visually connect to local doctors and hospitals are just a few of the programs in development.
"Care navigation within our continuum and upon rehab discharge to the community are other areas of near-term development for us. With a long-term focus on population health, we see the need for additional follow up, early interventions, enhanced communication, and an increased connection with our community," Stephanie said.
But at the heart of Luther Manor, and its 55-year tradition, are its residents and employees. One of the critical elements of their strategic plan focuses on helping every resident and employee achieve an abundant life. Stephanie admits that there's a lot that goes into that statement, but adds, "I believe that every level of the continuum should be centered on a purpose-driven life. Through programming and education that focuses on Living as a Leader, we're looking at ways to help our volunteers and staff to identify even the simplest daily activities that create a sense of purpose and value so they can reinforce the concepts of abundant life."
Stephanie and her team will track the progress of their key initiatives and long-term plan through continuous improvement and enhanced accountability in delivering on projects. They're considering deploying a tool called SpearityTM that offers both online and mobile access to a continuous improvement process that will help the leadership team prioritize, track, and report progress. Innovative concepts like these are just some of the ways that Stephanie believes she can keep her team excited and the ideas flowing.
Stephanie utilizes her connections with Lutheran social ministry leaders to bring new energy and ideas to her plan. Weeks after joining Luther Manor, Stephanie attended LSA's 2016 CEO Academy where she established an immediate and meaningful connection with fellow member CEOs. Stephanie identified with the faith-based work, that creates a common playing field, no matter how big or how different the organizations may be.
"By sharing our experiences with one another, I was reminded of one of the most important aspects of leadership―it takes courage to approach the future with new ideas, but it's entirely achievable in collaboration with a great team and a great Board of Directors. Together, reaching your goals can become a reality."
Stephanie's work in her short time at Luther Manor is a real-life case study of LSA's 2017 CEO Academy theme, Seizing Opportunity, Realizing the Future. LSA member CEOs can join Stephanie at the 2017 CEO Academy this January where she will share her experiences during her first year and the innovative ideas that are now transforming the organization as part of a panel discussion, Case Study: Driving Strategy, Driving Results. LSA looks forward to welcoming Stephanie in Safety Harbor, Florida this January.
Nearly two-thirds of LSA's national network of over 300 members provide services to seniors ranging from in-home services to retirement housing, rehabilitation, respite care and senior centers. About 20% of the senior residential living units among the top 100 non-profit senior providers in the U.S. are members of LSA, making Lutherans the largest faith-based group serving seniors today. LSA looks forward to future opportunities to partner with our senior service providers to help older adults live a higher quality, more abundant life. For more information, please visit the LSA Senior Services Community of Practice page, or contact Ariel Guerrero at 202-601-4365.