When I woke on the morning of Jan. 28, 2021 — the day we launched our organizational Strategy — it felt surreal. We had spent so much time creating this blueprint for MD Anderson’s future and, finally, it was time to share it. I was both excited and nervous.
The Strategy was years in the making.
MD Anderson President Peter WT Pisters, M.D., had challenged us to devise a strategy for MD Anderson’s future, seeking input from employees across the organization. In spring 2019, our team started doing just that. We asked employees: What does the future of MD Anderson look like?
Through feedback from frontline staff and conversations with leaders, we ultimately settled on three themes: Reach, Breakthroughs and Value. We wanted to make it easier for patients and communities to access our expertise. We wanted to drive high-impact discovery research and accelerate translation to treatments. We wanted to set new standards for high-touch, high-value cancer care.
And the overarching goal? To increase MD Anderson’s impact on humanity.
When I drove to the office that January day, it was still dark. We actually had two launches. We had our internal launch to employees in the morning and our president, Dr. Peter WT Pisters, shared our Strategy with the MD Anderson’sBoard of Visitors in the afternoon.
One of our goals was to ensure all 22,000-plus employees felt connected to the Strategy. Before I came to Strategy and Business Development, I worked in Diagnostic Imaging. I knew that there were people at MD Anderson who would have to take the larger institutional vision and translate it to their teams. As we developed the Strategy, my team members and I would often ask ourselves: Would this make sense to me if I had a completely different role at the institution? If I worked in another department, would the Strategy inspire me?
And the answer to both questions is: Yes.
What’s most striking about the Strategy is that it feels ambitious, but at the same time it feels intuitive to MD Anderson. It feels like us.
Danielle Hay is executive director, Strategy and Business Development at MD Anderson.