In this lesson, we mentioned how the creation of a dedicated strategic planning office within an organization can help to assist with facilitating strategic plan development processes. Does this seem like a viable option for established organizations? Why, or why not? What type of message does it send about the organization’s dedication to stability? What are some pros and cons that you can expect from such an undertaking?
ANSWER AND THEN REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE? (A MINIMUM OF 125 WORDS or MORE EACH)
I think there are pros and cons to this question. We have a dedicated Strategic Planning Office in our organization, and although it appears to be a plus, there are times when they struggle! I would agree with most, there is value to having the team on-site, full of institutional knowledge, close enough to see change, and measure progress. However, there is risk of being too immersed in the day-to-day operations, personal biases, and even your own interpretation of challenges around the organization can blur your assessment of what should and should not be part of the process. Issues that I think are preventing the organization from growing may in fact, be the exact opposite, especially if the issues are complex.
When it comes to established organizations, I lean toward an objective offsite team that can conduct an assessment, facilitate focus groups, or interviews without knowing how long leadership has been in place, or who comes into the office late and leaves early. I would say it sends the message that we want a genuine and uninfluenced strategic development process to ensure we are stable in our actions and daily practices. When you are focused on real measures of performance, usually the numbers tell the tale. An objective point of view would look directly at your current state, future state (vision), and conduct a gap analysis on how you can get reach your goal, while also considering risk and probability.
Data used to show trends or patterns from previous strategies could make a path for positive change. Once this is established, there may be nuances that explain where you are currently, however, the assessment should be conducted without emotion. Members of the strategic planning team should share their vision with one another (Bryson, 2018 p. 204). Conflict is not always a bad thing, some of the best solutions are bought to the surface after conflict. A collaborative approach is key. Being dedicated to the mission is great, however when developing a strategic planning process, you’re almost forced to see things from a much wider perspective. I don’t believe you can do that effectively if you seated in the center of it.
Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: for public and nonprofit organizations, a guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement (5th Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley