Chapter 1Step 1: Set Up for Success


Strategic planning is a good idea in theory, but it is only a good idea in practice if the right people in an organization believe it is a good idea and the organization is ready. The initial worksheets to be used in Step 1 specify prerequisites for successful planning, as well as potential pitfalls to avoid. Chief among the prerequisites is a true commitment to the planning process by the executive director and board leadership. In other words, regardless of how much an organization needs to do some strategic planning, a sole program manager or board member will not be able to initiate a planning process alone or see that it happens successfully.

This does not mean that a lone visionary on the staff or board has no opportunity to initiate a strategic planning process, but it does mean that such an individual must actively recruit support from leaders by identifying the potential benefits to the organization and helping them see the need for planning. For example, is the staff aware of all the big changes happening in the program environment? Does the board shy away from seeking community support for the organization because it's unclear how it should measure the success of its efforts? Has the organization grown or shrunk significantly over the past few years? If the answer to these kinds of questions is yes, and it has been some time since ...

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