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FAQ on Strategic Planning

FAQ on Strategic Planning

Alliance for Nonprofit Management has a quick frequently asked questions on strategic planning. So what is strategic planning?

Strategic planning is a management tool, period. As with any management tool, it is used for one purpose only: to help an organization do a better job – to focus its energy, to ensure that members of the organization are working toward the same goals, to assess and adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment. In short, strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. (Adapted from Bryson’s Strategic Planning in Public and Nonprofit Organizations)

It is a pretty important, especially when you lead a new team, new business or existing organization with changed directions. The FAQs cover board and specific questions, such as:

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  1. What is strategic planning?
  2. What are the key concepts and definitions in strategic planning?
  3. What are the basic steps in a strategic planning process?
  4. What do I need to know before I start the planning process?
  5. What are the individual roles in a planning process?
  6. What’s in a mission statement?
  7. What’s in a vision statement?
  8. What is a situation assessment?
  9. How can we do a competitive analysis?
  10. What is a strategy and how do we develop one?
  11. What should a strategic plan include?
  12. How do you develop an annual operating plan?
  13. How do we increase our chances of implementing our strategic plan?
  14. Should I use an external consultant?
  15. How do I use retreats in the planning process?

Frequently Asked Questions on Strategic Planning

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Last Updated on July 25, 2018

Finding Your Inside Time

Finding Your Inside Time

An old article that is worth mentioning is called Finding Your Inside Time by David Allen.

David talks about his style on capturing your life details within a journal. By writing every action required items into your journal, you will have more freedom from detaching yourself from all those pressures. He says keeping a journal is like a core dump which can act as your stress release and spiritual in-basket:

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Just making a free-form list of all the things you have attention on is a form of journaling and is at least momentarily liberating. On the most mundane level, it is capturing all of the “oh, yeah, I need to …” stuff—phone calls to make, things to get at the store, things to talk to your boss or your assistant about, etc. At this level, it doesn’t usually make for a very exciting or interesting experience—just a necessary one to clear the most obvious cargo on the deck.

I often use my journal for “core-dumping” the subtler and more ambiguous things rattling around in my psyche. It’s like doing a current-reality inventory of the things that really have my attention—the big blips on my internal radar. These can be either negative or positive, like relationship issues, career decisions or unexpected events that have created disturbances or new opportunities. Sometimes core-dumping is the best way to get started when nothing else is flowing—just an objectification of what is on my internal landscape.

This is a key point that David has emphasized in his book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – and it is one of the effective tools that I use daily.

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Finding Your Inside Time – [Writers Digest]

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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