Strategic planning is an imaginative process underpinned by practical down-to-earth thinking. It allows us to visualise the possible, confirm what is important for us, and do reality checks on dreams.
We bring the real world of data to bear on sometimes fantastical scenarios. We allow time to argue about what we are here for and what is deeply important to us. And then we get down to the nitty-gritty of developing a plan to make it happen.
Strategic planning takes time. Please, please, please allow sufficient time. I have been asked to facilitate strategic planning and told I had an afternoon to get from vision to plan. I said, “No!”. Even a revision of the current plan takes more time than that. Setting aside sufficient time allows for greater commitment from participants to the process and the outcomes. And it can be fun!
Usually, it is best to get yourself a facilitator, but just in case that is not possible, here is a strategic planning template listing common steps and methods.