This week, we’re focusing on strategic planning. GC hasn’t done a strategic plan in years, and the commissioners have decided they want a five-year plan by February 2016. Mike Felts, the county manager, is leading the process.
So what is strategic planning? The name fits the definition: strategic planning involves identifying an organization’s purpose, its goals, and its strategy for reaching those goals. The process usually takes anywhere from six months to a year to complete and should provide a thorough road map for where an organization is going.
Mr. Felts brought in Dr. R. Henry Migliore, a consultant and former professor, to conduct a one-and-a-half-day workshop with county department heads to get them thinking about the process. We started off with a basic introduction to what strategic planning is, then broke into groups. We discussed the county’s purpose and mission, conducted an environmental analysis (what are the environmental factors that influence our ability to carry out the mission?), identified strengths and weaknesses, outlined our main objectives, and constructed basic timelines. This is only the first step in a process that has dozens of steps, but we made a lot of great progress in just one day. Now, the department heads are tasked with taking what we worked on back to their departments and getting input from their employees. The group will reconvene in August to continue working.
Some people argue strategic plans are a waste of time because sure, it’s nice to have a plan for the next five years, but everything can change in an instant. That may be true, but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. Yes, the process (if done thoroughly), takes a long time. But there is so much value in understanding your organization’s purpose and what you’re working toward. A strategic plan provides direction, and sometimes that’s all someone needs to be productive and inspired.
I won’t be in GC in February 2016 when the plan is done, but I’m anxious to see the finished product and excited for the county as it embarks on this journey.
Normally I would get you hyped for what’s in store next week, but I’m not entirely sure yet, so I’ll have to surprise you instead. Hope you’re enjoying summer, and I’ll see you back here next week!
Local Gov Love,