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Do you Know your Business’ Guiding Principles?

Stay Focused with Guiding Principles
Companies that get focused and provide a vital service for people’s lives deserve to be around a long time. RANA Respiratory Care Group ( is one such company. Recently I had the opportunity to interview Cory McArthur, President, about the strategic planning of RANA and their organization as a whole. As we discussed RANA’s thinking on Strategic Planning and the importance of business growth and development, it became apparent that having Guiding Principles was a key to their business’s success.
Guiding Principles provide a litheness test for making better business decisions. They are usually based on your organization’s core values and, to be of most use, should be simple and easy to understand for all

involved. .  Most successful companies have between 3-5 Guiding Principles.  They use these both as a foundation for making short-term business decisions, as well as a platform from which to create their strategic planning.

As Corey explained, RANA has five unique guiding principles, but one stands out the most: good for the client, good for the system and good for RANA. Simple and profound at the same time, it’s something that both the executives and employees can embrace.  It reflects their core values, provides balance, and keeps the company pointed in the right direction.  The executive team felt that with this guiding principle none of them could lose when making business decisions. That is a powerful perspective.  It not only provides RANA focus, but also has allows them to come out neutral or ahead in their business.
Cory went on to break down this Principle in more depth:
  • Good for the clientkeeps the company and its people focused on their primary responsibility: the health and well being of their clients.
  • Good for the systemis about embracing and enhancing the healthcare system over the long term. As a private provider in a public system they need to benefit and compliment the overall healthcare system.
  • Good for RANA has to do with the business side of the organization and sustainability. That means helping patients and maintaining a healthy company over the long term.
RANA has definitely embraced the key elements of strategic planning. In this case, as a company of 25 years, they have grown and developed a set of Guiding Principles for their business decision-making process that can be used over the long term.  A great lesson learned from a company that is a Canadian business champion.
What are your company’s guiding principles?
Listen to our CJOB podcast here The SPAR with Richard Lannon and Cory McArthur.
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