Developing a Strategic Roadmap for a Publishing Program in Transition

American College of Cardiology

Strategic and Operational Guidance

A change in leadership can be an opportunity for positive change.


JACC, the flagship journal of the American College of Cardiology, was in transition. Its revered editor in chief was preparing to step down after more than a decade at the helm, and its long-serving publisher was likewise readying for retirement. Before embarking on a global search for both a new editor and publisher, ACC’s board of trustees decided to pause and survey the competitive landscape for JACC, assess its position in the marketplace, and recalibrate its strategy. The board convened a task force to undertake this effort, supported by C&E. Our aim was to develop a new strategic roadmap that would not only chart the direction of JACC but would also inform the candidate search process.

What We Did

Our first step was to establish a baseline of knowledge regarding JACC and the JACC portfolio shared across the task force. We undertook an analysis of the competitive landscape in which JACC operates and benchmarked against other first-tier scholarly journals using a broad range of editorial and financial measures. As the task force became confident in its understanding of JACC’s current state, we began plotting its future course. Through a series of workshops facilitated by C&E, the task force determine a prioritized list of issues to be faced by JACC in the coming years.


Through C&E’s facilitation, the ACC taskforce aligned around a shared vision for the future of JACC and a shared understanding as to how to move toward this vision. With the unanimous and enthusiastic support of the task force, the strategic plan and its recommendations were rapidly approved by the ACC’s board of trustees and moved into action.

Clarke & Esposito performed the seemingly impossible task of aligning our task force made up of prominent cardiologists and staff around a shared set of priorities and a strategic roadmap to guide JACC’s future.

Kevin Fitzpatrick

Chief Innovation Officer