Strategic Planning is an organization’s process of defining its direction and making decisions on allocating necessary resources to implement the strategy. It is about capturing a vision for the future and then focusing on the essential strategies that move you toward that vision. Whether you are an organization or an individual, planning is a necessary part of achieving your potential.
For the Individual
In my book The Promise of Potential, individuals are guided through a four-step process to strategically achieve their personal vision: I AM, I NEED, I WANT, I WILL.
Focusing on a vision (I WANT) is what energizes and motivates us. Knowing we have the natural talent to achieve our vision (I AM) is what propels us to work towards our goal. Understanding the steps to strategically move forward (I NEED) is also necessary. But the commitment to action (I WILL) is where the rubber meets the road! These simple steps form a proven process for taking an individual from where they are now to where they want to be.
For the Organization
I recently facilitated a strategic planning process for a highly successful community foundation. It was an awesome experience to see the 25-member board navigate through a five-step methodology: Discover – Evaluate – Imagine – Choose – Focus. Our pre-work included understanding the organization’s history, current position, challenges and questions for the future (Discover). We assessed strengths, competition, resources and needs (Evaluate) and before coming together for our facilitated planning session where we visualized the future (Imagine) and developed a strategic plan.
The excitement in the room was palpable as every board member began to see possibilities for their organization. The group bonded around a unifying theme for their future—a vision that motivated them to do the next critical steps in the process. They articulated and prioritized alternative strategies that could help them achieve their vision (Choose) and finally, they developed action plans for the top priorities that would yield the biggest impact (Focus).
The organizational planning process we used was analogous to the course of action recommended for individuals. Defining what needs to be done and focusing on a commitment to action is imperative for individuals and organizations. Both methodologies ignite possibilities and unleash motivation. They begin with a magnetic vision that keeps you focused on the desired goal.
Planning for the future must be strategic, but it can also be simple. What are your personal or organizational possibilities? If you can dream it, you can achieve it. We would welcome the opportunity to help you achieve your potential. Let’s talk!