Education Leaders Gathering 2007 Lengthening cords … strengthening stakes Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” —Isaiah 54:2 The Hilton Pittsburgh February 2-4, 2007 Partnership of Mennonite Schools Council and Mennonite Education Agency
Workshop: Strategic Planning Carlos Romero Mennonite Education Agency 63846 CR 35 Suite #1 Goshen, IN 46528
Strategic planning . . . creates focus and a shared vision that our stakeholders can buy into.
This presentation includes references borrowed from numerous sources including: • Alliance for Nonprofit Management • Olsen and Olsen, Strategic Planning for Purpose and Profitability • William C. Crothers * 810-653-2220 * wmcrothersPLA@AOL.com • Robert C. Andringa, Past President, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) • Christina Drouin, Executive Director, Center for Strategic Planning
Two definitions of strategic planning (notice the emphasis on process) • A process of gaining teamwork for the accomplishment of a complete, documented, but frequently changing organizational action plan. • The process by which the guiding members of an organization envision its future and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future.
Why strategic planning? • It allows organizations to… • Clearly define the purpose of the organization and establish realistic goals and objectives consistent with that mission in a defined time frame within the organization’s capacity for implementation • Find the best approaches to implementing its mission • Build on its assets, recognize its weaknesses • Ensure the most effective use is made of the organization’s resources by focusing the resources on the key priorities.
Strategic planning… • Provides guidance and direction for the staff • Is a tool for the board to hold the organization accountable to fulfilling its mission • Communicates goals and objectives to the organization’s constituents
Strategic planning… • Ensures that the most effective use is made of the organization’s resources by focusing the resources on key priorities • Provides a base from which progress can be measured and establishes a mechanism for informed change when needed • Brings together everyone’s best and most reasoned efforts in building consensus about where the organization is going
Beginning the process • There are different approaches… • a variety of strategic planning models • The Contextual Approach. This traditional approach to planning looks at an organization’s present context. It is best suited for an organization that wants to focus on how to better implement its mission, better fulfill the vision, and enhance its management capacity, but wants to continue to accomplish these goals without adopting any radically new approaches. Because the contextual approach deals with internal strengths and weaknesses, the focus of the plan is often on how to improve or enhance the organization’s capacity for fundraising, accounting practices, board effectiveness, etc. • * Michela Perrone and Janis Johnston, 2005
The Revolutionary Approach. This radical approach helps to develop strategies outside of the organization’s present context — or to develop more revolutionary strategies. By challenging present practices and assumptions, these strategies look at future possibilities and seek to incorporate bigger changes into the organization’s perspective. It is an approach that challenges the present and promotes thinking outside the box. The revolutionary approach works best when an organization needs to revise its vision and mission or add new and different programs and services to solve new challenges in the community it serves. Additionally, the revolutionary approach works well for an organization that needs a more dynamic plan, that is comfortable working in a nonlinear framework, and that is prepared for a planning process that is complex and open-ended. Michela Perrone and Janis Johnston (BoardSource 2005)
Goals-based strategic planning is probably the most common and starts with a focus on the organization's mission (and vision and/or values), goals to work toward the mission, strategies to achieve the goals, and action planning (who will do what and by when). • Issues-based strategic planning often starts by examining issues facing the organization, strategies to address those issues, and action plans. Organic strategic planning might start by articulating the organization's vision and values and then action plans to achieve the vision while adhering to those values.
Organic strategic planning might start by articulating the organization's vision and values and then action plans to achieve the vision while adhering to those values.
Strategic planning … • Assumes the organization must be responsive to a dynamic, changing environment, unlike the more predictable ‘long range’ planning environment
A strategic planning process prepares a best waytorespondto circumstances of the organization’s environment, whether known or not.
Planning… involves intentionally setting goals, that is, choosing a desired future, and outlining a way to achieve those goals
Discipline… shapes the process, and calls for a certain order and pattern to keep it focused and productive.
The strategic process raises a sequence of questions that helps planners.
These questions will … • Examine experience • Test assumptions • Gather and incorporate information about the present • Anticipate the organization’s future working environment
The plan … • … is ultimately no more, and no less, than a set of decisions about what to do, why to do it, and how to do it.
Requisites for successful strategic planning • Be sure there is leadership commitment • Keep the process simple • Allow people affected by the decision to provide input • Guard against internal politics • Be responsive to emerging developments which surface through planning • Focus on results by assigning responsibility for action steps to individuals
Requisites for successful strategic planning, cont’d • Remain flexible, using what works rather that rigidly following a preset plan • Provide feedback on results to everyone participating • Be opportunistic, i.e., take advantage of unanticipated opportunities even if not in the strategic plan • Remember the process is as important as the plan • Link the planning effort to annual budgeting decisions • Be sure the organization is ready and willing to make strategic planning a priority
Five steps of strategic planning • Get ready • Articulate mission, vision and core values • Assess the situation • Develop goals, strategies and initiatives • Complete the written plan
1. Get ready • Identify issues • Clarify roles • Create a planning committee • Develop an organizational profile
Strategic issues: An issue may be strategic if it meets some of the following criteria: • Item needs to be addressed by the board or CEO • Consequences of not facing the issue are significant for the institution’s future • Political sensitivity of the issue is explosive • Item has broad impact and major financial risk/opportunity • Emphasis is on innovation and creativity instead of the proven • Emphasis is on doing the right things vs. doing things right • Emphasis is on effectiveness vs. efficiency • Solution will require new services and programs • Solution will require additional facilities and personnel • Solution will require new board policy
Mission statement … defines the institution’s purpose and direction “What is it?”
Vision statement … formulates a picture of what the institution’s future makeup will be and where the organization is headed “What does it look like when fully implemented?”
Core values … authentic core values and beliefs the institution is committed to “What we stand for.”
3. Assess the situation • Examine strengths, weaknesses and performance • Highlight critical issues • Identify the five to 10 most critical issues
Internal and external assessment … Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats to institution
Target customer groups: • Gather information about your customers and your market place • Identify groups of customers that have similar characteristics • Choose groups to focus on
The assessment will create • A database of quality information for decision-making • The list of critical issues to be addressed by the strategic plan
4. Develop goals, strategies and initiatives • Includes significant discussion with the various stakeholders of the institution • Institution determines how broadly to seek counsel and who should be involved
4. Develop strategies, goals and objectives, cont’d The process will: • Identify the strategies (broad approaches) to be taken • Identify the goals and objectives (general and specific results) to be sought • Provide an overview of the strategic direction of the organization
Value-creating strategy • Communicate the information collected to managers and employees • Establish a strategy that matches your institution’s strengths with marketing opportunities to position the institution in the mind of the customer
Specific goals • Respond to the market’s needs by acting on what you learned
Specific goals • Set goals that convert the long-term objectives into specific performance targets, and that …
Specific goals, cont’d • …state what, when, how, who, and are measurable.
5. Complete the written plan • Utilizing the planning committee and a staff person, the document developed to this point will be placed into a formalized written plan.
5. Complete the written plan, cont’d • Detailed operating/action plans for accomplishing the strategies, goals and objectives set forth can be added to the plan at this time.
5. Complete the written plan, cont’d • The planning committee ensures that the plan answers key questions about the priorities and direction of the plan. • At the end of this step, you will have a completed strategic plan.
The completed plan should include … • Initiatives (specific actions) that lead to implementing the goals • How the plan will be communicated • How the plan will be supported • The plan evaluation system
Next steps Where to from here with strategic planning?
Considerations … • Use the planning process as an opportunity to engage key stakeholders in shaping the future of the institution
Considerations … • Use the planning process to establish benchmarks that can be reviewed annually by the administrative leadership and the board of directors.
Considerations … • Use the strategic plan to create coherent communication plans.
Considerations … • Use the strategic plan as the foundation document for developing the institution's case statement for student recruitment and fundraising.
Considerations … • Tie the strategic plan into ongoing self-study and re-certification projects.
Currently, do you • Have a mission statement? • Have a vision statement? • Have a core values statement? • Have a strategic plan?