After completing steps 1-6 of the Strategic Planning process, you should have tactics all over the place. At this point, you are ready to formulate and pull together your one-page strategy. You already have your strategic objectives finished, now all you have to do is gather the tactics you and your planning team have put together. And that’s step 7.
If you’ve been following the process and capturing all the notes, now it’s time to start plugging in the information into your one-page strategy. It starts with your vision and mission, next is core values, then the four areas of focus (satisfaction, financial stewardship, internal process, capacity) and where your strategic objectives fall into those areas. After that, are the strategic initiatives of how you are going to execute your plan.
Once you plug everything in and have your one-page strategy in place, it’s time to go back to your core planning team for final approval. After that, it’s time to present your one-pager to the board for their approval. A note about the presentation, please do NOT just shoot off an email to the board members with the one-pager attached and a note saying you’ll discuss it at the next meeting. This is a huge mistake because the board members have no context. They have no idea how much energy, time, and work went into pulling together the plan. Instead, schedule the meeting and plan to take them through the journey of the core planning team. Hopefully, you’ve had either the board chair or a board member on the core planning team and we encourage you to have that person take the board through the presentation as opposed to you, the executive director. After the presentation, then you can hand out the one-pager you’ve created because the board members should now understand everything that went into it and why you’ve chosen the strategic objectives and initiatives.
Once you’ve gotten board approval, it’s time to go back to the planning team and decide what needs to happen in year one, year two, and so on. You can’t do everything in year one, so you must prioritize those objectives and initiatives. What matters? What’s urgent now? What needs to get done in the next 90 days? Six months? This is where you start implementing the work plans as well as tracking your progress so that you keep you and your team accountable for what you’ve set out to do. It doesn’t do you any good to go through this entire process if this last step doesn’t happen. Consider forming a group of volunteers who will help execute the work plan for year one. Put together a one-page priorities document that outlines the details of the work that needs to happen so this group knows exactly what they need to do on a quarterly, monthly, and daily basis. Make it manageable for the team.
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