Q. What is the best way to involve board and staff in a collaborative strategic planning process?

Board Staff Collaboration imageA. It is essential to the success of any strategic planning process—in fact, any aspect of the organization’s endeavor—to have an effective partnership of lay leadership and staff. As strategic planning process is the opportunity to determine the direction of the agency for the next few years. And this is the time for the lay leadership to participate to the fullest or live with the choices of others.

An organized process will open up many opportunities for involvement. An initial meeting should start with the end in mind. The objective is to determine what the organization might aspire to become as well as the methodology by which the agency will achieve that vision.

At some point in the process, you might divide into small groups to develop goals, strategies and tactics. But at other times, you will want the energy of the entire planning team to articulate the shared vision and assess the situation of the agency and the environment in which you function.

There needs to be someone in charge of the entire process, someone to facilitate the brainstorming sessions as well as coordinate the work plan for each of the small groups. You also have to identify someone who will gather and interpret the collective information as well as write the report. Moreover, the process requires someone to schedule and recruit people to come to meetings. Here is your reminder to play to people’s strengths and interests in addition to helping retain their interest and involvement in the process.

Of course, if you need professional guidance for your strategic planning process, Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is available to help. Just give us a call to schedule a consultation.