Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't fail to plan... Follow the process!

This is an incredible time right now for my agency. I am leading my team through a strategic planning process. I always include senior management in this process because executive leadership sets the tone for the entire corporation and I want this tone to be one of excitement and enthusiasm about increasing the prosperity of the Oil Region.

We have begun our strategic planning process with a strategic vision or a description of what will be when we have achieved our goals and objectives. The vision is communicated in our strategic plan through our mission and vision statements. It is extremely important to me that the staff clearly understand and believe in our mission and can see the vision. This can only happen if it is communicated and modeled by the senior staff. A highly desirable characteristic of any successful CEO is their ability to clearly see the strategic vision along with an incredible passion for the agency and the ability to excite and influence those around them to dare to believe too!

The next few steps have included sharing of an overall corporate plan and asking our business units – economic development, tourism, heritage preservation, and finance and administration to propose strategic plans for themselves that fit into the overall corporate plan. This includes a complete SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of each unit. They must carefully look at the internal strengths and weaknesses of the unit to achieve the overall corporate mission and vision and external opportunities and threats for job creation and investment, tourist spending, and heritage preservation.

This is a long and time consuming process because it is the CEO’s responsibility alone to evaluate the unit plans and provide the appropriate feedback. Each unit must justify its proposed objectives, strategies, and programs in terms of how well they satisfy the agency’s overall objectives in light of the available resources. Please share with me your unique experience in strategic planning for your agency!

1 comment:

  1. Randy, great post. I think you have captured all the key elements of a well done planning process. It is critical to have your key leaders involved - after all, if they don't buy in to the vision and plan, they can't lead, motivate or direct their staff to do so either.
    This process takes a significant amount of time to get it right - it seems as though you are allowing that time. Finally, I suggest that you ensure that all the uni goals and plans tie back directly to the overall organization's mission and vision and key strategies (which should be fewer, rather than many). You may also want to have quarterly milestone meetings where all staff are updated on the progress being made.

    Well done!
    Bill Bliss, Author "Leadership Lessons From THE BOOK" (NIN Publishing, 2009)