For any Board, President or Executive who isn’t quite sure your strategic plan is actually strategic, here are eight reasons to re-think your approach.
1. Invest in your possibilities. Strategic Planning is your opportunity to formally meet as a board with three actions that lead to one outcome:
- To look at what you have and where you are today. If you have member research, bring the key messages with you.
- To look deep into what you do well – and not so well – today. If you went through the in-depth process to discover your Value Proposition, put it on the wall and use it.
- To prioritize the biggest issues facing your association and your members.
These answers will give you the insight to choose the few, STRATEGIC issues that will move you closer to your vision. Any organization that fails to face the big issues will be unprepared to tackle them.
2. Decide on your most important challenges. The session focuses on issues that matter. The issues that can help you become the only answer for your members, or potentially put you out of business.
3. Make short-term progress on your long-term goals. Your annual plan is a critical part of running your business. It lays out how you’ll get to your big three-year goals. Annual decisions are tactical steps to reach the big goal. They are important, since you only have so many people to help you progress on your big goals. Annual plans rely on your committees and staff to move them forward. You and your board will need to monitor and adjust annually. The plan will span three presidential terms. This is the Board’s project and not the President’s one-year plan.
4. Work on what you DO – but first decide what do you want to BE. Visions are dreams – and aspirations with clarity. Without a vision, people just have jobs. How do you find the right formula for success without a beacon that everyone aims for? That leaders create together? If you haven’t been dreaming lately about something new, something huge and something better, this is your reminder to start. (Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership)
5. Don’t do away with annual planning. Strategic planning requires strategic thinking. The direction might not surprise you but it will inspire you. This session is formal, facilitated, and uninterrupted and takes a panoramic view of:
- Your market and the external forces
- Your association’s “always done that” activities that no longer fit
- Your culture – as a board and as individuals
- Problems still facing your association even though it’s been part of your plan for years
6. Focus on what matter to members. Are you so focused on the day-to-day and the little things, that you can’t find a unified answer to a member’s big question about “so what”? Discovering this answer will help you grow better relationships and make closer connections with your most important members. This is your association’s value proposition.
7. Consider your competition. Most associations face the worst kind of competition – indifference. The kind of competition that is difficult to penetrate. Indifference creates barriers to action, barriers to involvement and barriers to understanding your real value. The kind of clarity that distinguishes your association from others (there are many “others”).
8. Reconsider how your plan will make a difference in your members’ future. Focus less on checking the plan off your list and more on its connection with value you deliver to members
You have endless possibilities. Spend your time well. Your board is in place to lead the organization to a future that members want to be part of.
To make sure you are mastering your business, your relationships and your connections, refer to this infographic that puts it all together.
Questions? Let us know!