Today’s healthcare leaders—in hospitals, health systems, physician practices and medical professional associations—face unprecedented shifts in how care will be delivered and financed in the future. For many, this is a time of living in two worlds—optimizing for success in a volume-based, fee-for-service environment while simultaneously preparing for how to thrive in an era of value-based, population health management and all it entails. CFAR is committed to helping our clients make sense of and manage the transition to 21st century healthcare by building and sustaining organizations that accelerate performance in the face of continuous change.
Physicians are working at the front line of change in the healthcare industry. They are grappling with what these changes mean for them personally, for their patients, for their practices (financially and operationally), and for their relationships with the other physicians and healthcare organizations with whom they work. CFAR advises both private and academic practices in exploring the implications of these changes. We help physicians think and act strategically about the future, collaborate effectively with other practitioners and parts of the healthcare delivery system, and advance clinical integration efforts.
The three intertwined missions of academic medical centers—education, research and clinical care—create complex challenges for leaders of these institutions. They must strive to sustain the energy and excitement that drive their organizations forward and nurture their most talented contributors, despite declining funding from current sources of revenue. The dilemmas are many: balancing integrated care in tertiary and quaternary care environments, providing excellent education across all disciplines as research agendas become more focused, and moving competing expert physicians to standardized protocols. CFAR offers well-honed approaches to developing precision solutions to help these complex organizations thrive.
Family enterprises are the lifeblood of today’s economy. They also face myriad challenges: businesses in their second or older generations face different competitive as well as familial challenges than their founders faced; increasing numbers of family members have an economic stake; families seek to make a difference through philanthropy; and new financial instruments create liquidity that families can chose to manage together. The proliferation of family offices in this world is a strong indicator of the growing complexity of this work. Little is straightforward in a family enterprise, where the natural interaction of family dynamics and economics together create exceedingly high stakes. Since the early 1980's, CFAR has been a pioneer in advising family organizations of all types, across industries. We help clients locate the will and skill resident in their organizations to make choices and propel themselves into their chosen future.
Family philanthropies have unique needs. Like any business, they require a clear-headed exploration of goals, methods, resources and results. But they also need an understanding of how the philanthropy fits into the larger family enterprise and the values, history, culture and network of relationships that make that enterprise unique. Challenges for family foundations range from their initial creation, to how they create and measure impact, to generational succession and transition. CFAR helps these organizations institutionalize a founder’s passion for a cause into a systematic approach to making a difference, integrate the inspiration of other family members with new perspectives on the mission, and build a structure that allows family members to have differential and meaningful roles and work.
While leaders of founder- and owner-led businesses are not joined by the familial ties of a family business enterprise, they are often friends or close colleagues, with bonds to each other that often extend beyond business, and may even span generations. Especially in partnerships and professional service firms, creating cohesion in the leadership group can be challenging since individuals may have goals that don’t actually contribute to the business as a whole, they may volunteer for roles for which they aren’t qualified, or they decided to go into business together in the first place—as friends—without assessing whether the group has the necessary skills to accomplish the objectives of the business. In these firms governance and compensation can be hot topics: resentments about equality of compensation, for example, often simmer below the surface, but go unaddressed in favor of preserving friendships. And even in firms with formal governance structures, how decisions are actually made may not be at all consistent with by-laws or organizational charts. CFAR can help owner-led organizations surface the assumptions that may be creating barriers to effective execution of strategy and the growth of the business, and resolve them in ways that improve performance and maintain the integrity of relationships.
The Life Science industry faces significant challenges that impact research and innovation, organizational structure and profit. From pharma to biotech and device manufacturing, companies are working under unprecedented pressures on pricing and the costs of research and development, from diminished pipelines, and from competition from generics and biosimilars. New business models are needed, new ways of partnering with other companies, and new opportunities to remove costs and sustain profitability. CFAR offers a variety of research-based approaches to help life science companies speed innovation, improve collaboration within and between enterprises, sharpen strategy, and resolve complex business dilemmas.
Biotech organizations must navigate a complex and changing set of external conditions – decreasing sources of capital investment, increasing regulation, downward pressure on pricing, and a changing healthcare environment that prioritizes evidence and outcomes. All of these factors require biotech companies to be more strategic in their focus and efficient in their operations, particularly as they are increasingly drawn into collaborations with large pharma companies whose interests and timetables are different. CFAR can help biotech companies align strategy within the organization, increase their focus on execution, and build organizational capacity and leadership skill. We also offer our extensive experience in organizational collaboration to help biotech companies structure and maintain effective partnerships with large pharma companies and other partners.
Biomedical Research Centers are poised to play an increasingly important role in our health sciences research ecology, especially as the pharmaceutical industry looks towards academia and these research centers to partner with in the development of translational medicine, genomics, and drug development. At the same time, research centers face significant operational and organizational challenges, as government funding of research declines, and competition heats up for philanthropic dollars. Research centers must think creatively about how to sustain their operations and remain at the cutting edge of science. CFAR can offer our experience in strategic planning, organizational change, and development to help Biomedical Research Centers work more effectively within their organizations and collaborate more productively in the complex partnerships and alliances on which they increasingly rely.
Our leading institutions of higher education face challenges today that demand strategy and speed—strategy so that they can use more limited resources in ways that drive greater impact and speed so that they can act before opportunities disappear. This is particularly true in the context of leadership transitions within institutions, where the incoming vision of the new leader may be at odds with the outgoing legacy. But moving strategically and quickly isn’t easy in a world where divergence and autonomy are valued and the process of decision-making is as important as the outcome. CFAR supports institutions of higher education by engaging faculty and broader community in authentic participation that results in solutions that stick.
Associations are complex organizations, critical to the industries, professionals and publics they serve. Association leaders—in both executive and volunteer roles—must navigate an increasingly complex landscape of membership expectations, pressures on time and resources, and the need to continually adapt their governance structures to changing requirements. Association leaders need strong skills in strategic thinking, using influence and persuasion to get their ideas across, and in advocating for their members and multiple constituents. CFAR has deep experience working with medical societies and other professional associations to help them be more innovative in their programs and member relationships, improve the design and effectiveness of their organizations, and develop their skills as leaders.
In today's economy, foundations are at a crossroads. While the influx of private wealth into philanthropy continues to grow, the very nature of philanthropy is becoming increasingly multi-faceted and complex, requiring innovative organizational solutions that accelerate impact. And just as many foundations are searching for the next "stage" of their identity, they continue to face the challenges that have persevered throughout their history. They need to exercise creativity and sophisticated business strategies to amplify impact and, increasingly, they demand measurable return on their social investments. CFAR has a long history of consulting to many of the country’s largest and most prominent foundations. We understand what it takes to face a world that is simultaneously filled with opportunity and constraint and translate that into action on the ground. CFAR helps foundations refresh organizational strategy and structure to respond to changing market needs, develop more effective leadership teams, and amplify impact.