Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Strategic Planning - What Is It and Why Should We Do It?

This week I am preparing for a workshop I am presenting next week on Strategic Planning and I thought I would do a series of posts on this subject. Today's post will be about what strategic planning is and why you should do it.

I have left brain and right brain definitions of what strategic planning is, so there is something for everyone. First - the left brain definition - Strategic Planning is a management tool that helps an organization to:
*Focus its vision and mission
*Ensure everyone is working toward the same goals
*Assess and adjust priorities in response to a changing environment

Although I really am a left brain type, in this case I prefer this right brain definition by Frances Hesselbein, CEO of the Leader to Leader Institute:
"The self-assessment process is an adventure in organizational self-discovery, a means of assessing how to be: how to develop quality, character, mind-set, values and courage." I think you can only really appreciate this definition after you have completed the strategic planning process.

Why should nonprofits develop a strategic plan? Here are what I consider the main reasons:
*Develop or Update Your Mission and Vision
*Establish Major, Realistic Goals
*Focus Resources on Priorities
*Develop a Blueprint for Action
*Define Measurements for Success

There are many benefits to this including getting everyone on the same page and stimulating a new focused, energy around your mission and vision. Interested in more...check back soon for the next post on this subject. Better yet, come to my workshop next Wednesday!

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits 9 AM - Noon
Sponsored by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County
64 Passaic Street
Hackensack, NJ
Pre-registration is required. Call 201-489-9454 X119 or email

Marion Conway Consulting

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