Summer is a great time for strategic planning! As one
who’s led and shaped a wide variety of corporate,
nonprofit and small business strategic planning sessions,
I’ve found three top predictors leading to results – not
only achieving goals, but exceeding goals.
Here are the top three predictors of an effective
strategic plan and planning process.
- The planning process is just as important as the
final “product.” Specifically tailored to the
needs of an organization, strategic planning
should provide a fun, efficient and resultsoriented opportunity to engage senior management, staff, board members, donors and other types of
constituents. The process itself, as well as the final plan, should create strong internal bonds, shared
vision, and a re-energized, pristine focus for moving forward.
- The strategic plan should be an organization’s
compelling, living and breathing story that can be
embodied by its people. This is not a “shelf ornament!”
A visionary plan and measurable goals become the
organization’s case for support for a time period, to be
updated periodically. Most organizations stick with a
three-year plan with a 12-month operational plan shaped
for articulating annual goals.
- The plan must have a meaningful, achievable way of being tracked. Progress should be monitored, successes celebrated and communicated (both internally and externally as appropriate), and updated action plans and course corrections noted.