Planning Session Ground Rules

By Paul Martin, PT, MPT, CBI, M&AMI

REHAB COMPANIES THAT HOLD ANNUAL planning sessions are at the top of their markets and the industry. If at all possible, physically get the lead- ership team away from the office. You do not want to be distracted by day-to-day issues in your business. Whether you end up at a nearby hotel or an all-inclu- sive resort, everyone has to follow the same rules to get the most out of the planning process.

During the planning session everyone gets to talk and should not be interrupted by other leaders or partners. Remember that personal goals drive business goals. It is really important for all partners to discuss openly their personal goals so there will not be any surprises in the future. Keep the planning professional. If possible, invest in a skilled impartial facilitator to lead the session. Take as much time as needed. The average is 10 to 12 hours, so do not cut it short. Con- sider doing your planning over a couple days so that the participants will be fresh with great ideas and high- level thinking. Effective planning helps you visualize your success before it happens, and if you can see it, you can achieve it!


Paul Martin, PT, MPT, CBI, M&AMI president of Martin Healthcare Advisors, is a nationally recognized expert on health care business development and succession planning. As a consultant, mentor, and speaker, Paul assists business owners with building value in their companies. He has authored “The Ultimate Success Guide,” numerous industry articles and weekly Friday Morning Moments. He can be reached at

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