Doug Leidig headshot
Doug Leidig

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Asbury Communities President and CEO Doug Leidig knew he needed to abandon his firm’s current five-year strategic plan, which was supposed to be in place until 2022.

“COVID-19 is a strategy-triggering event,” Leidig said Tuesday during a presentation at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting Virtual Experience. The firm decided to shave a year off their current plan and develop a new “master plan” that begins in January 2022 and will run for no longer than three years. “COVID brought to light so many new opportunities and we realized we need to become much more agile,” he added.

In the past, Leidig noted, the company had focused on going through each of its eight continuing care retirement communities separately to evaluate where to focus. After COVID, however, executives spent three months evaluating all of the campuses to determine the two or three most impactful projects for the organization — projects where they’d “get the biggest bang for their buck,” he said.

Terri Cunliffe, CEO and president of Covenant Living Communities and Services, noted that her firm never would have been able to strategically plan and meet the goals it has over the past several years without the help of key industry partners.

As an operator of 15 continuing care retirement communities in nine states, Cunliffe recalled the naivety of the firm’s earlier days, when it believed it could do everything in-house. 

“We have become a much more efficient and effective organization by identifying partners who do what they do much better than us, and they’ve made us better as a result,” she said.

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