When John T. Langell, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., was named the new president of NEOMED in October 2019, he knew what he wanted to do first: Listen.
The Langell Listening Tour took him out in the community (something that was still possible in fall 2019) and brought him face to face with small groups of students, faculty, and staff on campus. Dr. Langell engaged participants in conversations to learn what they honestly thought about NEOMED: its strengths, its weaknesses, what it should be aiming for, and how it might get there.
Repeatedly, he heard that our mission and direction were not clear.
In January 2020, Dr. Langell began meeting with University leaders to assess the Strategic Plan that had been under development before he arrived. Widening the scope, he also asked leaders outside the University community – more than 50 of them – their thoughts, many related to strategic planning. Tomorrow’s People, a consulting company that provides leadership training, guided this process.
The next step was to develop a series of seven surveys, each on a topic related to strategic planning. These surveys were sent one at a time, to make it easy for everyone to participate, and members of the University community responded with thoughtful answers and suggestions.
From this deep and broad questioning period, Dr. Langell and his Executive Management Team; faculty and staff throughout the University; and many external partners throughout Northeast Ohio determined that there was consensus: The University was ready for a new Strategic Plan that was more inclusive and more actionable.
A new mission, vision, and values were developed. Five pillars ― People; Education; Discovery; Service and Community Engagement; Growth ― were adopted to provide support and articulate the strategic focus, and a sixth ― Academic and Administrative Support Operations ― would provide the resources and tools needed to deliver on the Strategic Plan.
Pillar leads were determined, and pillar groups ― leveraged by sub-committees ― were formed. With so many members involved, four focus areas ― Exceptional Experience; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Leadership; People ― were established to ensure the work and outcomes would be optimized to meet the University’s goals.
Forty-two strategic initiatives and more than 70 action plans were submitted. With dozens more in the works, a strategic initiative funding process was also implemented. The NEOMED community was fully engaged in strategic planning at all levels.
With many hours of work and input from more than 100 members of the NEOMED community, the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan: Creating Transformational Leaders emerged and was approved at the Board of Trustees meeting held Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2021.
Inside the Strategic Plan
Looking deeper into the plan, here’s one of the guiding principles described in the Education section:
“NEOMED strives to deliver an Exceptional Student Experience that prepares students to be leaders in their field through curiosity, self-reflection, intrinsic motivation and collaborative education.”
And here’s an excerpt from the Discovery section:
“NEOMED’s culture of discovery will lead to breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and healing of health conditions while advancing new models of care. NEOMED will foster an entrepreneurial environment to encourage the commercialization of high-impact research breakthroughs that advance health and health care.”