Strategic planning – 8 questions to consider

When I think about strategic planning, I think about it as an intentional direction setting for your organization. Sometimes I use the phrase “intentional turning”¬† though strategic planning¬† can also end up affirming your current direction.

At the center of strategic planning is a commitment to community impact or mission-based objectives. These objectives are backed up by a clear-headed understanding of the dynamics of the world you exist in, a thoughtful and evidence-based strategy for executing programs (or an experiment that you’ll learn from) and a plan for building the operational capacity and strategic partnerships that are your best shot at reaching those objectives.

Here are a few questions your planning process should consider:

  1. How has/ is our community, our world, changing?
  2. What do we think the future will look like?
  3. What impact do we have the courage to try to achieve?
  4. What is the smartest way to get there? Is there a Plan B? C?
  5. Who’s coming with us?
  6. What must we do differently, more of, less of?
  7. How much will this cost?
  8. How will we pay for it?

Oh yes, you’ll need data to answer these questions. So consider how you’ll find out what you need to know.

A few resources:

Strategic Planning Basics

An Outcomes Approach to Program Planning

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