Strategic Planning Success Story
The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) is the premier organization for surgeons and health care providers dedicated to advancing and promoting the science and treatment of cancer. The Society's focus on all disease sites is reflected in its comprehensive Annual Cancer Symposium, monthly scientific journal, special projects, and committee structure. The SSO was an EAI client from 1993-2012, when SSO, due to its financial growth under EAI management, transitioned to a self-managed staffed organization.
Recognizing the multiple educational needs of the Society's members at all levels, from training to community-based practice to maintenance of certification, in 2009 the SSO leadership determined it was time to take stock of the Society's programs and determine the best approach to "retool" the organization to meet the needs of the 21st Century surgical oncologist. Adding urgency to this effort was the Society's success, under EAI management, in advancing support for establishing a certificate of subspecialty in Complex General Surgical Oncology by the American Board of Surgery.
EAI, along with a core group of SSO officers and committee chairs, conducted two planning retreats, examining all of the Society's activities and discussing its future needs. The next step was to secure the members' perceptions of the Society, its programs, publications and Annual Cancer Symposium. Two surveys were conducted, one of North American members and the second of international members. The findings were fully analyzed and discussed as part of a strategic planning retreat, which included the Executive Council, key committee chairs, several past presidents and EAI staff. Central to the discussions were items of strong importance to SSO members and the future direction and needs of the subspecialty.
SSO adopted a new Mission Statement and Strategic Plan to guide its efforts over the next several years. The group identified what it considered to be highest priority items within the plan. Those items were then developed into an annual operations plan. When completed, the Finance Committee developed a three-year financial plan.
The goal was to have an overall plan of what the Society would achieve and ways to generate the necessary resources to accomplish identified priorities.