Posted by Rachel Bruns
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By Marsha Block, MBA, My Business Advisors
There are plenty of good ways to accomplish the development of a strategic plan - some simple, some complex. Choose one that fits your leadership style and the needs of your organization. Whatever process chosen however, I would like to offer some ideas to help you achieve a better outcome and heighten your chances for success.
- Prepare a full picture of the current situation before you begin. It doesn’t have to be deep but it should be broad. Go outside the organization’s four walls and the tribe’s knowledge. Gather feedback from partners, consumers, clients, donors, foundations, etc. - any stakeholder that can be thought of. Build a 360 degree view of what the organization does well and identify opportunities for the future.
- Focus on engagement, participation and development of a productive discussion. Use common sense. Everyone wants to do the right thing and do it perfectly. Not every organization can get there. Plan from where you are. Better to invest the time and energy to get everyone on the same page, no matter where that is, and move forward incrementally.
- Ask the hard questions. What is the best way to achieve the mission and to serve the audience or intended population? Does this organization need to exist? Or is there another approach to better achieve the mission?
- Smart growth and simplicity trumps big hairy audacious goals (BHAG). BHAG’s help us feel good but it takes courageous, committed and consistent leadership to pull it off.
- Keep it simple and clear. Simple ideas are easier to understand. Ideas that are easier to understand are repeated. Ideas that are repeated change the world.
- There MUST be a mechanism to measure progress. Embed a practice to work the plan and maintain a rigor around implementation. Otherwise none of it is worth doing and is a waste of everyone’s time.