Strategic Planning’s Unjustified Bad Rap

We get it; the phrase “let’s start this year’s strategic plan” doesn’t inspire excitement in everyone. Some people have shared that they may even prefer exploratory dental work. We do not believe we understate the situation when we call this a “missed opportunity.”

Strategic planning can be as dull as the same conversation, again, with the same people, again, on the same topics, with no progress, documentation, milestones, or solution development. Or it can be a creative, exciting process that gets everyone on the same page, identifies vital information, assigns responsibility for forward motion, aligns goals and expectations and is even, dare we say it, fun. Who doesn’t want that? Particularly when completing a process that may be required to support the donation and funding cycle. Everyone should.

Here are just a few of the things that can be easily incorporated into the strategic planning process to make it a truly valuable effort across many organizations:

  • The people delivering the mission know the most about the needs of your community. This is a great time to make sure their voices are heard throughout the organization and to incorporate their feedback and ideas. After all, they are speaking for the people you are serving. There are lots of appropriate, effective, and fun ways to do this as part of the process of building a strategic plan.
  • Excellent ideas about how to be better exist in your organization already in places you cannot see now. The strategic planning process is an outstanding opportunity to bring these hidden gems forward.
  • Useful, actionable information and data live in places you may not expect. The strategic planning process can be structured to identify and share that information and make it useful to many members of your organization instead of the few who rely on it now.

Into an open mind new and creative ideas can and may fall. If you’re contemplating launching a strategic planning process or drafting up a strategic plan, we’d love to hear what you’re thinking and how we can help make it a vital, thoughtful initiative for your organization.

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