Posted in Strategic Planning

BACon Blog - 3 Ways Your Strategic Plan Needs to be Focused: 3 and 3 in 3

Your association’s strategic plan needs to be focused. The very nature of a strategic plan is to be strategic… and you’re not being strategic if you’re not focused.

Your strategic plan needs to be focused in 3 ways: 3 goals. 3 objectives. In 3 years.

  • Goals. Goals are what you want to accomplish in your strategic plan. For example: Become the leading resource for continuing education for your members. You should limit the goals in your strategic plan to 3.
  • Objectives. An objective is the direction needed in order to accomplish your goal. For example: Increase the number and quality of educational offerings to members. You should limit the objectives in your strategic plan to 3 under each of the 3 goals.
  • Years. Keep your strategic plan to 3 years. Establish a 3-year rolling plan. For example, if you were conducting a comprehensive review of your strategic plan in 2016, the initial strategic plan would be for the years 2017-2019. In the latter part of 2017 you would conduct an annual review of the strategic plan and then roll the strategic plan forward to 2018-2020. Then in 2019 you would conduct another comprehensive review of your strategic plan.

Your association’s strategic plan is not everything the association does. It should be focused on the items of significant strategic importance over the next 3 years. These items will get additional emphasis by the association, including money, staff time, and volunteer workforce time.

So focused in 3 ways… 3 goals, 3 objectives under each goal, in 3 years. Using this approach will ensure that the work of your association is prioritized on the critical issues facing your association.

John Barnes is President of Barnes Association Consultants. Barnes Association Consultants helps association Boards and CEOs address the wide range of challenges and opportunities facing today’s association leaders. Barnes Association Consultants helps association leaders make their associations better.

John can be reached at johnbarnes@barnes-consultants.com or 703.321.6866. For more information about Barnes Association Consultants, go to barnes-consultants.com.