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Should You Be Thinking About Strategic Planning?

Do you ever feel like your organization is moving in 360 different directions at once? Are you concerned that your agency might be succumbing to the "activity trap"? Are you and your employees pretty much doing things the way you did them five, even three years ago? Are people around you talking about partnerships and collaborations but you never move beyond meetings and talking? Are new organizations or businesses competing for your customers?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", it might be time for your organization to embark on a strategic planning journey. The journey promises to be energizing and motivating by providing a renewed sense of focus. The following are other reasons to engage in strategic planning:

To improve performance. As that often quoted sage, Yogi Berra, once said, "Without a plan, the only way you get to where you're going is by accident." Having a vision for the future mobilizes staff and volunteers to move in the same direction and adds power to the image of the organization.

To stimulate new ideas and a vision for the future. Switches focus from day-to-day operational details to the mission of the organization--what it is and could become.

To solve major organizational problems. Helps identify major problems, and provides opportunities to explore choices and prospects for the future. Also, it helps the organization see that challenges are really opportunities.

To survive and flourish. Rapid change and shifting funding sources make survival a real concern for many organizations. A proactive look at problems, threats & opportunities can help organizations think through tough choices.

To build teamwork & expertise. Those involved in the planning effort gain enhanced knowledge about the organization. The strategic planning process improves channels of communication creating energy and a common sense of purpose. This results in a heightened sense of commitment to the organization and its future.

To raise funds. Whether it is venture capital, grants from foundations, or donations from individuals or corporations, strategic plans encourage others to invest in your for-profit or nonprofit business. They are also prerequesites for capital campaigns and an important part of accreditation processes.

For more about Kickingbird Associates’ Strategic Visioning services click on the “Consulting” tab.

Lynn Kickingbird
©2003, Kickingbird Associates

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