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When plans fail to produce expected results, everyone is frustrated. Time, money and credibility is wasted.

So let’s talk about two planning pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Pitfall:  Board members aren’t helping to implement the strategic plan.  How can we get them involved?

Every time I’m asked this question I learn that a subset of the board created the plan or a consultant interviewed everyone and wrote the plan.  It’s a simple fact:  Board members not involved in the planning process are not likely to be involved in implementation.

Reality:  What teams create, they own – and what they own, they will make happen.  Include the entire board in the planning process –  in some manner.

In large organizations, the board may participate in the initial planning steps and staff may create most of the action plans.  Of course, board members must create action plans for governance and any other areas for which they have primary responsibility.

In small organizations, all board and staff members must work together throughout the planning process.

Pitfall:  Can you facilitate our strategic planning retreat in three hours on Saturday morning?

Certainly, everyone is busy and board and staff members’ time is hard to come by.

Reality:  An effective strategic plan cannot be created in three hours.

Many considerations determine the length of a planning process – and it must be designed for each organization’s specific circumstances.  Regardless, be committed to devoting the time needed.  Break the planning sessions into half-days, over several months if needed.  One or two steps in the planning process can be done in three hours.  Do whatever it takes!

Do you include the entire board in your planning process?

How can you schedule planning meetings to maximize board participation?

Create a plan – always have a plan!

Email me at carole@rylanderassociates.com or find out more about our services at www.rylanderassociates.com