Strategic Planning – does the very idea tempt you to fall into a deep sleep? Once upon a time we felt that way, but have come to be converts of a sort. We have seen good strategic planning open doors and make possible opportunities that weren’t there previously; team members who have been encouraged to envision a bolder, more dynamic future are alert to noticing and seizing possibilities when they appear. A good strategic planning process builds and solidifies an organizational team; when the process is done well, the organization’s culture improves as a result.
In our experience, a good plan:
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- Demands big, bold thinking;
- Asks people to go beyond the status quo;
- Is concrete with tangible outcomes;
- Is based on a theoretical model that makes common sense;
- Consciously aligns with broader organizational goals;
- Has a foundation of solid data;
- Thoughtfully considers the external environment and context;
- Involves people inside and outside the organization who are committed to its future;
- Includes key components: stakeholder and environmental analysis, vision, mission, strategic initiatives, objectives, action plans and accountability measures;
- Is predicated on genuine and active involvement so as to assure ongoing “buy-in;”
- Drives resource allocation;
- Is flexible and open to modification, as the environment will invariably change.
This service might be for you if...
We view strategic planning not just as the plan itself, but as a process that envisions and sets out a tangible roadmap for the next three to five years of an organization’s future. Depending on the size of the organization it can take four months to a year to complete the planning process.
That is a significant time commitment; what makes it worthwhile? The benefits are numerous and tangible: Your organization’s reputation will be enhanced and you will be taken more seriously as a result of knowing who you are, where you are going, and how you plan to get there. This will enhance your ability to attract on- and off-campus resources more readily because you will be crisp and focused in defining what you do and why. Your group will understand its work within a bigger context, increasing their commitment to the work and to each other. As a group you will develop clarity on where to devote energy and financial and human resources for the good of the whole. By devoting time, energy, and resources to developing a plan, you will co-create a more exciting and inspiring future, one with a greater impact on those in your sphere of influence.
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This service might be for you if:
- Your group has not come to agreement about where it is going.
- You haven’t taken the time to jointly envision where you want your department to be in 5 years.
- The last strategic plan just sits on the shelf and gathers dust; no one even remembers when or how it was done.
- People seem resistant to the direction in which you are trying to take the organization, and might feel they haven’t had any say in that future direction.
- You would prefer to make resource allocations aligned with defined goals, rather than based on whim and power dynamics.
- It would be nice if strategic planning wasn’t dull and boring, but you’re not sure how to accomplish that.
- The resources that need to come your way flow more readily to those with a clear, long-range plan.
- You know that it is more fun and satisfying to come to work if everyone is traveling in the same direction and that productivity greatly increases if people are clear on organizational goals and actions plans.
- Your planning efforts have only involved people within your organization; you know others should be included, but aren’t certain how to do so.