Grazing the business media these days, it appears we’re in another round of trending discussion about strategic planning and its status: alive or dead? Is strategic planning useful or a waste of time? Is strategic planning relevant or irrelevant? Some believe that strategic planning has no relevance because change and innovation are occurring at such a fast pace or that there isn’t enough organizational capacity to even execute a plan.
In my experience, and especially among associations leadership, strategic planning is alive and well, relevant and timely, and highly effective no matter the size and capacity of an organization. They continue to forge ahead with developing and following strategy. Why? Because strategic planning:
- Enables leaders to lead.
- Clarifies direction and develops consensus for mission and vision.
- Creates meaningful participation.
- Manages choices by helping leaders select with discernment.
- Unified the efforts of volunteer leaders.
- Provides a common framework for goals and measures.
- Allows for focus and responsiveness.
- Aligns professional objectives with goals and measures.
- Develops relevant prioritization and allocation of resources (time, talent and treasury).
- Maintains and manages Board accountability.
One of America’s founding fathers, Ben Franklin, says it best: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
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