It’s a New Year! Have you thought about your strategic plan?
As we find ourselves with two feet squarely in the New Year and the holidays a distant memory, now is the appropriate time for an organization to determine its goals for the coming year, and quite possibly for the next several years. Strategic planning helps identify where an organization wants to be in the future and what steps it takes to get there.
A strategic plan should not be done in small pieces during a normal staff meeting. Rather, many organizations find it productive to do strategic planning in a retreat setting, getting key staff and board members away from their hectic lives to put thought into the future direction of the organization. The exercise is not an annual event, but one that should take place every two to three years, ensuring that the previous plan is still valid.
With strategic planning defined, why would an organization need such a plan? The five points below seek to provide some answers.
- There is a major change occurring within your organization or community – With the economy changing on what seems to be a daily basis, the structure of organizations is changing rapidly as well. An organization must implement a plan that aligns appropriately with its own mission and vision.
- The organization is unveiling a new process or product – If the new process or product is large enough to have a dramatic impact to the organization, a plan should be produced that prepares the organization for the changes that will take place.
- A unified mission or vision is needed for the organization – When an organization needs help to have a unified voice, a strategic plan should allow everyone the ability to provide input into the future of the organization. The strategic plan should navigate those involved, such as staff and board members, to implement the plan correctly and effectively.
- The organization is having difficulty moving forward – Organizations that are stuck need plans that allow for forward motion and a sense of accomplishment by all players. The plan provides benchmarks and goals for determining success, and should stimulate change while allowing for future planning.
- The organization has new leadership – Whether there is new staff or volunteer leadership within the organization, it may be a logical time to review the last strategic plan and redistribute the priorities moving forward. A sign of a strong leader will be one who can think beyond the day-to-day operations and help develop a strong, long-term plan for the organization.
Once the organization has completed the planning process, it is vital that the plan not sit on a shelf untouched. Members of the organization should review the plan regularly, ensuring success while making sure everyone understands their role within the plan.
Is your organization in need of help? Read more about how PMA can assist with the strategic planning process, or contact David Ibsen to set up a consultation.
704-321-4741 ext. 104