Strategic planning is the process of defining or redefining an organization’s mission, goals, and objectives, and developing a set of specific strategies to achieve them. Some planning processes can use linear procedures while others, particularly those addressing complex social issues, may require the application of Systems Thinking to help develop better solutions to chronic issues.
Strategic planning typically involves intensive, facilitated discussion and the use of business analysis techniques. For example, SWOT analyses – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, are used to evaluate an organization’s current state, and identify the organization’s goals and objectives for the future. Once goals are established, we work with clients to determine a path for getting there. Internal and external factors that may facilitate or impede progress are considered and factored into the equation, and relationships among participants and partners are assessed for strengths and impacts. Thorough environmental scans help to identify needed enhancements in staffing, policies, practices, and key relationships for the organization to be successful.
Results from strategic planning sessions typically result in the refinement of the organization’s vision and an actionable, measurable plan for successfully moving forward.