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Ten Steps to a Successful Strategic Plan

"A vision without a strategy remains an illusion."
Lee Bolman

Strategic planning is a significant undertaking. It requires energy, creativity, time and money. Your resources are important and limited.

Get what you want!

Strategic Planning is what we do at Woodland Strategies. Here are a few tips as you consider your upcoming planning project.

  1. Align your leadership. Strategic Planning won’t work without this in place. Your board of directors, executive director, and key stakeholders should all be on the same page.
  2. Decide if you want to hire a professional consultant. You can participate or facilitate. Don’t try to do both.
  3. Figure out who your key players should be. Get the right people on your team.
  4. Go somewhere offsite for the actual Strategic Planning Retreat. The same old conference room is not the place to engage in this kind of thing.
  5. Establish ground rules before you do anything. Do not skip this step.
  6. Your plan should reflect your messaging. What is the big picture? What is your ten-year vision?
  7. Select three to five overarching goals, only. Things can get unwieldy very quickly. Set yourself up for success.
  8. Expect and embrace constructive conflict in a psychologically safe setting. Constructive conflict signals that change is happening.
  9. Be sure to have a clear document—not one that is collecting dust on the bookshelf. Put it to use! Have a dashboard highlighting your key elements. How will you measure? How will you measure? Who’s responsible?
  10. Communicate and embrace your plan on an organizational wide scale. Watch for silos. Is your team communicating in the most productive way? “Measure twice, cut once”—as they say. Have weekly reporting and monthly updates to be sure you are on your way. Don’t forget your annual audit. Consider your stakeholders.

Woodland Strategies is a business consulting firm located in Minneapolis, MN. We also have offices in Phoenix, AZ.

We specialize in the nonprofit and small business models as we assist clientele in creating strategic plans, marketing strategy, fundraising strategy and more. Our consultants also offer expertise in project management, nonprofit management, risk management, stakeholder assessment and more. We can help you with full six to eight month project, three month “tune-ups”, annual meeting facilitation, and workshops.

Get started today! Visit us to schedule a time to discuss your organizational needs.

This article or any other promotional material(s) from Woodland Strategies, Inc. is in no way intended to be a comprehensive plan.

Please note all markets, circumstances, and results vary. Any strategic plan or marketing initiatives must follow all State and Federal laws and regulations, accordingly.

Please contact us directly for a complete assessment and plan for your individual organizational needs.

Choosing the Right Consultant

Consultants can provide valuable service and offer an objective perspective to assist organizations and team members in a variety of areas. Woodland Strategies, a business consulting firm in Minneapolis, MN, offers an assortment of consultancy services including Strategic Planning, Marketing Strategy, Development and Fundraising Strategy, and also Leadership Coaching.

How long does a typical strategic planning process take?

This is a question we are regularly asked at Woodland Strategies. Typically, a full strategic planning process can take up to six to eight months, depending on how in-depth the organizational planning team wants to take things.Your messaging – your values, mission and vision statements – can, and should, last between eight and twelve weeks. This is really the most fundamental part of your plan. It should never be rushed.

Succession Planning for Your Nonprofit Board

Leadership transitions within organizations can be anticipated or be quite sudden. Transitions may be due to a personal change for a board member or staff, or they may be the result of a thoughtful and long-term decision to make a change. If you are looking to keep your nonprofit sustainable, you will want to be sure that you have a written succession plan ready to go.

Market Research and Competitive Analysis for your Small Business

As a small business entity, you have to know your market. Having this knowledge will assist you with an effective and efficient marketing strategy to reach your customers and steer you to a profitable position.