Approaches to Strategic Planning

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Approaches to Strategic Planning





Institute of Lifelong Learning


University of Leicester




16 Nov 2009


Unit 1 : Approaches To Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning can sometimes sound very theoretical. It can also seem a near-impossible concept to voluntary organisations with short-term funding, and uncertain futures. In order to bring this concept a bit nearer home, take some time to think about the following questions:

  • Where do you (personally) want to be in 3-5 years time?
    (You could think about where you want to live, and how, or what work you would like to be doing, and in what role)

  • If you had to put a formal plan together to achieve your personal aims, what different activities might your planning involve?

Now think about the organisation you’re involved with at present:

  • What do you think the organisation should have achieved in 3 – 5 years?

  • What kind of organisation do you hope it will be?

  • How do you think others involved in your organisation would answer this same question?

  • Do you think they would find it easy to have a view?

It would be useful to consider this in relation to:

  • Management Committee Members

  • Manager/management team

  • Employees

  • Volunteers

  • Funders

Read the following statements - some of them may sound familiar!

  • 'We've grown too fast!'

  • 'We're drifting...'

  • 'We don't have a common sense of purpose'

  • 'We're all things to all people....'

  • 'We're unable to meet the needs - we're just providing First Aid and crisis help'

  • 'We're navel-gazing - we've missed out on opportunities to develop!'

  • 'We seem to find it really hard to explain what we do to people on the outside'

  • 'We're too complacent - we can't assume that things will always be this way'

  • 'Don't ask us what's happening - we never get consulted'

All of these statements could be relevant to aspects of strategic planning. Some relate to the development of the organisation, others are comments on how it is perceived by those who are not (or who don't feel) part of it.

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