As described in our earlier blog entry (“Why board members fear strategic planning”) volunteer board members can usually find a number of reasons to avoid embarking on strategic planning, but we think the following are compelling reasons for moving ahead:
1. Gain a shared understanding of the organization’s priorities and what role you can play in moving the work forward.
2. Engage in the right discussions and the right work at the right level—you can expect meaningful work to come out of the planning process.
3. Be able to articulate where the organization is heading and how it plans to get there—maybe you’ll finally get that “elevator speech” you’ve wanted!
4. Bring focus to your board meetings. The strategic planning process will generate important questions with which your board will need to grapple.
5. Get the board on the same page regarding direction and priorities, and build the board’s sense of teamwork along the way.
6. The plan can be used to guide and increase the effectiveness of your committee structure, board recruitment, budget development, and even the executive director evaluation process.
7. A chance to tackle some of those nagging, “elephant in the room” issues that never seem to get addressed. This will be the moment to discuss them and make decisions.
8. If you structure the process to seek their input, this can be a great opportunity to hear from clients, donors, staff and other stakeholders—input that boards need but are challenged to collect under normal circumstances.
This is just one of several items about strategic planning that you’ll find on Starboard’s blog, or you can call us at (207) 992-4400 to learn more.