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Strategic Planning: Why Bother?

Life goes in cycles, it seems. The weather certainly does…although this winter definitely isn't cycling through fast enough for most people in the country.

Business goes in cycles, too. Certain trends emerge, take hold for a while, only to be replaced by the next big thing.

Something that is always in style, however, is the subject of this post: strategic planning.

I've recently been engaged in an ongoing strategic planning process with a non-profit organization. As part of the process, we designed, implemented, analyzed and interpreted the results of two surveys to various organizational constituencies. The feedback will be used by a newly-formed strategic planning committee to help develop a future-oriented strategic plan, from which a tactical plan or plans will follow. It's important for me, as the consultant, to help guide the process, be an advisor and a sounding board. I may also facilitate a day-long retreat/workshop for committee members to help focus their efforts and make sure everyone is on the same page. But it's also important for the organization that it develop its own internal capacity for strategic planning and its ongoing management. That's part of
my strategy for the organizational development of this particular non-profit. If I do my job well enough, they won't need me anymore.

Based upon my experience in this area, there's not really a right way or wrong way to go about strategic planning; it's whatever will work best for the particular business or organization. Granted, everyone has some operating biases about how to do this or that. I share mine with my clients upfront, and let them know they don't have to agree; it's just how I approach things. There are many books and templates available for how to proceed with strategic planning. Take what works for you and toss out the rest. And stay on top of it. Strategic planning isn't a one-time-and-done event. It's ongoing. Regular evaluations need to be made -- hopefully as part of the tasks of an ongoing strategic planning committee -- and revisions considered, if necessary, in order to achieve the organizational mission and achieve the stated goals. Tactical plans flow from the strategy.

Why bother with strategic planning? If you really have to ask the question...

Are you ready to review your strategic planning needs? Give us a call. We can assist you in a number of ways.

-- GSM