Many board members and executives believe that strategic planning happens during a retreat, where leaders meet intensively and come to connsensus on key questions such as mission, vision, values, and strategic direction/priorities/goals. This is only partly correct, and a key reason why some planning processes are doomed to failure.

Good strategic planning includes a board retreat. However, much strategic planning work happens long before the board retreat, and some work includes preparing for a board retreat. Also, much strategic planning work follows a board retreat.

A planning “process” that is, in fact, merely a board retreat, usually results in a written report that is put on a shelf to collect dust. A board retreat isn’t a “process;” it’s an event — an important event that should be an integral part of a larger process. In fact, the written report isn’t the key oucome (“deliverable”) of successful planning. The key outcome is the success of the process itself — the success of the organization’s leaders communication and consensus-building. Building belief and consensus on mission and strategic direction takes a lot more time and communication than a retreat by itself can provide.

Don’t shortchange your organization. Preparation, communication, consensus-building, and execution are all keys to successful strategic planning. Let us show you the way.