3 Steps to Take Before You Sit Down with Your Board to Create a Strategic Plan

The more you prep for your next strategic planning process the better your outcomes will be.

How often do you conduct a strategic planning session or retreat?  How often do you review your strategic plan?

Every year, every other year or once every three years?

Whatever your timeline is, it's important that you do your homework prior to your next retreat.

Here's three things you can do before your next planning session:

  • Background materials
  • Communicate the process
  • Set the stage

Background Materials

Tell the story of your chamber, where you’ve been, where you are now and that will set the stage for where the chamber should go.  Key items to share from a historical perspective should include, but not limited to:

  • Revenue - dues vs. non-dues
  • Membership numbers - retention rates, etc.
  • Program of work - advocacy, economic development, networking, educational programs, etc.

And don't forget to attach real numbers to the above items.  For a previous blog post on program based budgeting go HERE.

Communicate the Process

It's important to be transparent in your strategic planning process.  Get everybody on the same page.  When people know what is expected of them, they will deliver.  Key elements that should be communicated:

  • Timing – set a timetable from beginning to end
  • Outcomes – set the expectation of what you want when you’re done with the process
  • Players - who's responsible and why

Set the Stage

I'm a fan of getting a third party facilitator to run the actual strategic planning meeting. They can keep people focused on the task and it keeps the process business like and not personal.

For a great resource on nonprofit boards from The Bridgespan Group go HERE.