Best laid plans

The CSP’s new strategy sets out a plan and direction for all of us to work towards, says Karen Middleton

Best laid plans CSP CEO Karen Middleton

January was not only the beginning of a new year and a new decade, it was also the start of life for the CSP’s new corporate strategy, which was signed off by the CSP Council in December.

I imagine that for many of you, the word ‘strategy’ doesn’t necessarily make you want to read on so I’ll be brief.

A strategy is simply ‘a plan of action designed to deliver a long-term or overall aim’. I often say that hope is not a strategy but how many times do you hear or say ‘I hope such and such will happen...’? The overall aim might relate to you personally and what you want to achieve, what your service needs to deliver or, in this case, the CSP as an organisation.  You need more than hope to get there.

Our mission as an organisation is ‘to transform the health and well-being of individuals and communities by empowering our members and exerting our influence’.  Our vision for the physiotherapy profession is ‘to transform lives, maximise independence and empower populations’. Knowing what you are aiming for is critical to then being able to develop a strategy for getting there.

While there is extensive expertise amongst the CSP staff that informs the strategy, critically we have worked hard, as a member-led organisation, to listen to you, the membership, about the context in which you work and what priority areas you see as being key to delivering the vision and mission. On the strategy page of our website you will find the strategic priorities for 2020-2022 and the key work streams, but I want to highlight what the new strategy means for members.

You may well see many strategies – for your organisation, service or business, your profession, even for yourself (your strategy to get that job, promotion, or attract more funding). How do you make sense of all of them? And where does the CSP strategy fit in? 

Well, firstly this strategy is for the CSP as an organisation – it helps us plan, assess risk, recruit who we need and distribute our resources. We’re a membership organisation so you are not only critical in informing what should be in the strategy but also in making sure the objectives are met. It shouldn’t get in the way of your other strategies, indeed I would hope it will complement them. It would be slightly odd if our vision for the profession was to go in a completely different direction from what is needed by the healthcare system at large! So work on community rehabilitation, for example, fits really well with the direction of healthcare right across the UK.

Moving this strategy to achieve the vision and mission requires all of us to be active in whatever way we can, whether that is about local representation, engaging in research, providing placements or prioritising what our service delivers. The strategy provides the ability for us all to pull in the same direction and ‘row the plan’. Professional networks, country boards and regional networks and CSP stewards will all be looking at the CSP strategy to see what speaks to them and what they want to prioritise. The next step is to set out a more detailed plan of how and what you are actually going to do.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: our strength is in working together as CSP members and staff. We have a great platform to build on and a new strategy. It is now down to us.

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