March 11, 2010
One of the great ironies surrounding my work as a nonprofit consultant is that I was one of those who had little use for strategic planning. In fact, I hated it. Like many of you, I sat through too many sessions where we were asked (forced?) to brainstorm about the future of our organization, then had to predict how we would spend our time over the next six months trying to bring about this desired vision of the organization.
The first time I was asked as a consultant if I could do strategic planning, I responded with a version of “sort of”. I knew that I was able to think strategically and could facilitate that type of thinking among a group. And I knew that I had yet to see an approach to strategic planning that I thought was not simply a plug and play version of the standard model. What I could not articulate at the time were the reasons that the traditional approach to strategic planning was…shall we say, unfulfilling.
Looking back, it is clear what it was that rubbed me the wrong way all those years about the traditional approach to strategic planning.
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