A school needed to create a new academic administrative structure to foster more academic leadership.
An academic department needed to rename its sub-units in order to manage the tension between the university’s priorities and the evolution occurring in the discipline.
A student affairs unit needed to develop a vision statement to create a shared identity and then identify the contributions they would make to the university’s already declared three year goals.
Each originally asked for “Strategic Planning.”
Strategic planning has contributed immensely to the success of organizations small and large. The creation of Mission and Vision statements and the identification of Goals, Objectives and Metrics can provide an invaluable blueprint for action. And, done well, the process can be a powerful way to build a cohesive team and shift organizational culture.
Unfortunately, many strategic planning processes fall short. They are derailed at any step in the process for many reasons including: unclear roles and responsibilities, unclear decision-making processes, lack of time, or just general loss of momentum. Often they are finished hastily in order to fulfill a requirement, and don’t reap the intended benefits.
This is exacerbated by the increasing pace of change. While any good strategic plan should be amenable to change as the future unfolds, the three-to-five year planning windows which have replaced the five-to-ten year plans of old are still often significantly off the mark.
What’s the alternative? Affirm your vision, and focus on answering the few strategic questions that will unleash the potential to move towards that vision.
We call this process Liberating Conversations
What impact do you wish your organization to have on the world? Is that vision clear and compelling enough to inspire commitment and creativity yet broad enough to allow flexibility getting there?
What are the tensions that currently divert energy and resources from heading in this direction? What are the most significant barriers to positive momentum and how might you address those?
Focusing on these essential questions clarified the work to be done with each of the clients above, creating a customized, effective and efficient path to their desired results.
So, the next time you think you need to do Strategic Planning, we would love to ask you a few questions!