One of the Best Strategic Plans Ever

A couple of years ago I came across an online critique of strategic planning titled “The Perils of Strategic Planning.”

One section, in particular, caught my attention. The author, James Hollan, wrote…

One of the very best plans I’ve ever seen in the nonprofit sector was just two pages. At the top of page one was a brief statement that basically said, “We are doing a very good job and we believe that these three things will make this organization even better. We believe they are three things we can accomplish next year.”

Below that were three goals for the coming year with the names of staff and board members in charge of accomplishing those goals, a very rough timeline for each, and a goal number for success. The second page listed two additional goals for the following year with staff and board members assigned to each with the understanding that they were “B” list items. It would be nice to accomplish them but not mandatory. The plan could actually have been collected on one page, but they used two for graphic clarity. This national organization had an annual operating budget of more than $10 million, and it consistently received very high satisfaction ratings from its members.

As a consultant that jumps up and down about creating simple, one-page strategic plans, I absolutely loved this.I rapidly read the rest of the article, found Hollan’s email address and fired off a note to him. I had found a kindred spirit in the strategic planning world and I hoped to talk with him. (We ended up having a great phone call and we echoed each others’ philosophy on planning. He may even play a small editing role in my upcoming book on strategic planning.)

So, if you’d like to learn about the perils of strategic planning, Hollan’s article is a great read.

Eric Ryan