Working closely with the executive director and strategic planning committee of an established, community-based organization, offering array of programs serving children and families, Wishnick & Associates designed and facilitated a comprehensive strategic planning process.
A vital component was internal and external stakeholder engagement. The board of directors and staff participated in separate facilitated group meetings where they shared their observations and thoughts about the organization as well as their aspirations for its future. Their intimate knowledge of the organization provided important information regarding its strengths, challenges, and opportunities. A select group of board members and the management staff participated in in-depth individual interviews.
Broad-based external stakeholder engagement included twenty individual interviews. Responding to a custom set of questions, program partners, trendsetters, local community members, and clients shared their insights. In addition, staff added strategic planning related questions to the annual client survey as a way to engage more broadly this specific constituency.
Findings reports synthesizing all the stakeholder input were important resources for the board of directors at the strategic planning retreat. During the full day convening, the board and management team evaluated and rewrote the organization’s mission statement, created a strategic vision for FY2016 – FY2018 (what the organization wants to be when implementing the plan is complete) and participated in robust conversations about diversity and inclusion, community needs, and the organization’s role.
The board articulated goals and strategies in all strategic areas – program and evaluation; management and operations; facility; fundraising and resource development; visibility, communications, and marketing; and leadership and governance – with the express purpose of supporting full development of all aspects of the organization and so that no one area would be hyper-developed at the expense of others.
To ensure the organization’s ability to implement the plan, a companion document was developed detailing the resources needed to implement all actions and strategies, leadership/stewardship responsibilities for all aspects of the plan, realistic time frames for execution, and a monitoring schedule.
The board of directors adopted the strategic plan and its vision for growth and increased strategic collaboration. Poised for implementation, the executive director focused attention on staff and the importance of their role in successful implementation.