Strategic Planning – So Much More than Just the Plan

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Belinda Li shares an older, but always relevant post that identities three important things strategic planning should accomplish in addition to the plan. 

‘It’s time for strategic planning again.’

If you’re anything like the Board members at a nonprofit where I serve as an officer, you can probably relate to the collective sighs this announcement elicited. I found this reaction amusing…and a little troubling. Because I do value-added strategic planning for my clients, I know it isn’t just a necessary evil. Strategic planning is truly one of the most exciting and valuable opportunities you and your organization can undertake.

That’s because it’s never just about producing a plan. At CiTTA Partnership, we often tell clients, the steps you take along that journey are just as important. Let’s talk process.

Step One: Creating Internal Alignment and Cultural Shifts

At its core, your strategy is about how to best apply your limited resources to the most effective and impactful priorities. You’ve got difficult decisions to make to drive your organization – and in this process, your vision, mission, and values will be revisited, clarified, and refined. It’s the perfect opportunity to get all your key stakeholders on the same page.

We facilitate a highly inclusive and participatory process that ensures all voices are heard (not just the loudest ones!). It’s a rare opportunity for Board members, leadership, and staff to work together in the same room, using hands-on exercises, facilitated conversations, large-group and small-group discussions. To be sure, there are often differing perspectives between Board members and leadership or staff members. It is an intense process by design. But the tools we use lead to enhanced mutual respect and active listening. By creating a safe and open space first, you’ll find your team is able to put aside personal agendas to discover and celebrate a common vision. 

Not only do you bring stakeholders together this way, but you also allow them to co-create a collaborative work culture that will serve successful strategy implementation for years to come. And that relates directly to…

 

Key points include:

  • Creating Internal Alignment and Cultural Shifts
  • Relationship-building with External Stakeholders – Including Critiques!
  • Helping Your Organization Value Data-Informed Decisions

 

Read the full post, 3 Things Strategic Planning Should Accomplish (Besides the Plan), on LinkedIn.