The Strategic Planning Problem

by Ron Shevlin

There’s plenty of good advice out there on how to run a strategic planning session or offsite. As it pertains to credit unions, check out Mark Arnold’s blog or CU Insight.

Mark encourages CUs to address questions about the organization’s value proposition and how it engages members. The CU Insight article, penned by CUES’ Charles Fagan, suggests that CUs identify the right planning horizon, get artistic, and leave time to incubate ideas.

No argument from me. All great ideas and suggestions for what to focus on in a strategic planning effort. Charles even goes on to recommend that CUs “include key players from all areas and levels in the organization”:

“CUES is small enough that we were able to include every staff member in the brainstorming sessions. This was a great professional development opportunity for our young professionals and others on the team who don’t think organization-wide on a day-to-day basis. Being inclusive also helps get staff buy-in for the ideas generated and the resulting strategic plan.”

Being inclusive is important. I had a boss at a consulting firm who told me that “only senior execs formulate strategy” and as a result we had to ignore the front-line managers who really understood what the day-to-day issues were.

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