Strategic Planning Essay

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Basics of Strategic Planning

The objectives of strategic planning including understanding the benefits of strategic planning; understanding the products of strategic planning; and learning the keys to successful planning and implementation.

Many organizations spend most of their time reacting to unexpected changes instead of anticipating and preparing for them. This is called crisis management. Organizations caught off guard may spend a great deal of time and energy "playing catch up". They use up their energy coping with immediate problems with little energy left to anticipate and prepare for the next challenges. This vicious cycle locks many organizations into a reactive posture.

It does not have to be that way. A sensible
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Why Strategic Planning?

Besides the personal satisfaction of taking charge of the organizations future, strategic planning offers at least five compelling reasons for its use:
Forces a look into the future and therefore provides an opportunity to influence the future, or assume a proactive posture.
Provides better awareness of needs and of the facilities related issues and environment.
Helps define the overall mission of the organization and focuses on the objectives.
Provides a sense of direction, continuity, and effective staffing and leadership.
Plugs everyone into the system and provides standards of accountability for people, programs, and allocated resources.
In summary, strategic planning is the key to helping us collectively and cooperatively gain control of the future and the destiny of our organization.

Five Products of Strategic Planning

The overall goal of strategic planning is to produce a workable plan. Along the way, we will develop, evaluate, and refine these five products:

Environmental issues and trends: Factors that may impact the organization and the way it conducts business. Internal issues include staff, services, skills, resources, and needs. External factors include such things as threats of outsourcing. A strategic planning committee compiles an environmental scan, a body of information about the environment. Broad issues, singled out as potentially
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