Strategic Planning-Developing a Pathway to Success
19 Aug 2015
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Strategic Planning


By: Nicole Linzmeyer


Fall is right around the corner which means that many Boards will have new Members joining them – what a great time to start planning for the future! One of the professional development opportunities that SARC offers to non-profit Boards is a Strategic Planning Session.

I asked SARC’s Facilitator of Leadership Development Corinne Sonntag, a few questions about Strategic Planning and her experience facilitating these sessions:

What is Strategic Planning and how will it benefit the Board?

Setting goals

Strategic Planning is about picturing and planning the organization’s future. This is a facilitated process that assists an organization to develop a comprehensive strategy identifying and outlining key performance areas, action steps, ‘gatekeepers’ and a process to implement the plan.

How long does a Strategic Planning Session take?

The Strategic Planning Session itself takes one full day (usually 9:00am-3:00pm) in-house, at the organization. However, once the session is complete it is up to the Board to implement their plan which usually stretches over several years.

What are some of the immediate positive outcomes you have seen come out of a strategic planning session?

The Board and staff feeling more in tune, working in partnership, feeling re-energized, and focused. I think often times Boards and staff get so bogged down in the day-to-day that they lose sight of all the great work they’ve already done and what it is they’re working towards. During the session, they’re reminded of all they’ve already accomplished and what it is they’re working towards.

What do you enjoy the most about facilitating strategic planning sessions?

I enjoy going out into the community and working with Boards and staff – there are some amazing CBOs in Saskatchewan.

What is something that you have learned while facilitating these sessions?

I have learned that most Board Members and Staff come into a strategic planning session with specific ideas on what the organization will prioritize; almost every time, priorities change or things come up that weren’t originally on the radar – the process often takes some unexpected twists and turns, which ends up being very beneficial as the different ideas really bring the organization together.

You can learn more about SARC’s Strategic Planning Sessions by clicking here.



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