From the Executive Manager's Desk: Strategic Planning in a COVID 19 World
February Message: Gail Madziar, Executive Manager, IAP2 USA
Strategic Planning in a COVID 19 World
An effective strategic plan helps set priorities, focus energy and resources, and strengthen operations. It can also ensure that everyone is working toward common goals.
Strategic planning can be defined as the process of establishing the direction or strategy of your organization and then making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue that direction. Effective strategic planning involves assessing both where you are and where you are going. It means setting measurable goals and outlining the action plans needed to reach them. In addition, it must provide opportunities to assess and adjust the organization's direction in response to a changing environment.
While we all know that strategy is important, it’s also a scary proposition because we’re forced to confront a future we can only guess at. In fact, choosing a strategy entails making decisions that explicitly cut off possibilities and options. For that very reason a strategic plan may seem passé with things changing too fast to plan for what might happen years in the future. We do not know what is in store for our post pandemic world. Those are valid arguments but one of my favorites quotes about the future comes from Congresswoman and civil rights leader Barbara Jordan, “For all of its uncertainty, we cannot flee the future.”
We must plan for that future as effectively as possible. Throughout the process we must keep in mind strategy is not about perfection. It’s about applying foresight and being intentional enough to imagine plausible futures. The IAP2 USA board has put together a balanced and energetic strategic planning committee. In conjunction with your board and staff, the committee is developing a plan that keeps member needs first and foremost while supporting the mission and vision of our organization. The plan will provide enough guidance to keep us on the right path combined with enough flexibility to adapt to whatever new world our public participation community finds itself in.
Look for details on the new strategic plan at our annual membership meeting scheduled for June 21 this year.
Balanced Scorecard Institute: https://balancedscorecard.org/strategic-planning-basics/
Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2014/01/the-big-lie-of-strategic-planning