There are lots of reasons given for deferring strategic planning to some future date, but here are a few that we hear most often:
- We have too much going on right now
- We need to add some new board members before we start planning
- We need to wait for our new board members to get up-to-speed
- We need to know what to expect from the Governor, from the Legislature, from budget negotiations, from our funding source, etc.
The list can go on and on, but if you wait for the “perfect” time to embark on planning, you’ll eventually realize there is no such thing. If you want to take control of your organization’s destiny, rather than letting outside events force your hand, make planning a priority. Rather than spending time finding reasons not to plan, start planning and you’ll quickly see obstacles disappear and opportunities take their place.
There are also moments in an organization’s evolution when we believe that planning is not optional:
- A new leader can bring energy and vision to an organization. Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of all that your new leader has to offer. Consider embarking on a strategic planning process somewhere between the 6th and 18th month of his or her tenure.
- Any fund raising consultant will tell you the same thing: if you are contemplating starting a capital campaign, you need to be able to show prospective donors how that campaign fits into your long term plans. The strategic planning process will help build the case for support.
- If a change in policy or funding has put a core program in jeopardy (or, better, has offered a potential opportunity), take time to think about the organization as a whole and engage in planning, not just reacting.
Organizations that take time to plan for the future are more likely than those that don’t to maximize opportunities or weather challenging times. So, stop coming-up with reasons to put-off your planning process, and get started now on developing a plan that will guide your future.
If you are ready to embark on a strategic planning process, you’ll find lots more planning advice in the blog section of our Starboard website: www.starboardleadership.com. Or contact us today to learn more about our consulting services.