Strategic Planning can be one of the most important exercises that an independent school can engage in. Here are some of the successes that can occur from a well- orchestrated strategic planning process:
School leadership gets focused on school improvement
Creates an opportunity for all major school constituencies to work together
A clear blueprint is laid out for the head of school and her or his team to lead
The plan contains goals and action steps that can become part of the head’s evaluation process.
The community has an opportunity to focus on school mission and philosophy.
An opportunity is created for the head of school to implement her/his vision for the school.
The process is a great preparation for the school’s reaccreditation process.
By far the biggest challenge and problem with the entire strategic planning process is the implementation of the plan. N.A.I.S points out this conundrum in their Trustee Handbook (9th Edition) by quoting Will Rogers,
“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.”
Given that N.A.I.S. calls the implementation process the most difficult, it is discouraging that most Strategic Planning consultants focus on the writing of the plan, and leave it to the head of school to see that the plan is implemented. Many times a second culprit to the failure of the plan is the board, itself, that signs off on the plan and then does not see to it that the head follows through with its implementation.
At VisM our approach to Strategic Planning is to promise schools that we will be with you from the beginning to the end of the process.