I always tell clients that strategic planning never looks just one way. The planning process and the output must look like the organization’s mission, size, maturity and level of participation. In other words, it’s a reflection of the organization itself.
Some clients require “re-visioning” where we take a step back and focus on their mission, vision and values. Then we constructively prepare them to meet that new mission. Other clients have a solid sense of what they are and where they want to go, they only need our help defining those next steps. And certainly clients exist at all stages in between.
Strategic Plans are road maps. They are intended to give organizations concrete direction so they avoid the ad hoc movements so many of us practice in our work (and personal lives). Initially some executive directors fret that the plans will permit their board to more closely monitor, and interfere, with their work. Another way to look at this scenario is that the executive director now has permission to concentrate on top priorities and to avoid projects not in scope. (As board members we’re all guilty of dreaming up creative but unrealistic expectations for the nonprofits we serve.)
Below are suggestions to make the planning process effective and painless:
Seeds for Change Consulting prides itself on guiding organizations through the strategic planning process in a way that puts the group on sure footing and without hassle.
~ Bergan Casey, SFCC communications and organizational development consultant
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