Strategic Planning Services

  • Curriculum-Centered Institutional Strategic Planning

  • Guided Mission Review

  • Guided Strategy, Goal and Objective Development

  • Rapid Prototype Strategic Plan Development

  • Introduction to Learner-Centered Approaches

⇒HINT: To read all Blog Posts related to Strategic Planning select the category Strategic Planning from the Category drop down menu. You can also follow the #changetheparadigmHE in social media.

Strategic Planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. (Adapted from Bryson’s Strategic Planning in Public and Nonprofit Organizations)

However, in any given institution strategic planning is viewed in a variety of ways. In each case the view is influenced by the personalities, experience and politics of the people involved and the culture and history of the organization overall. Views can be strongly negative, strongly positive and run the entire spectrum between the two extremes.

Strategic Planning as Structured and Informed Dialogue

Strength and value of any strategic planning endeavor lie in the nature and integrity of the process. A balance must be struck between process and product, between planning and implementation, between doing and continuous improvement. Too often the focus is upon a report that emanates from the process and not the process itself. The most productive processes are those informed by evidence, guiding a structured dialogue resulting in decisions that lead to a healthy, sustainable institution

position the institution address problems, and provide a framework for managing the academic enterprise while aligning with and addressing accreditation standards.. Meaning the dialogue engaged in during strategic planning is guided by a set principles, a series of defined steps, and predefined opportunities for reflection and assimilation. The structured dialogue gives voice to an organization’s members to participate openly in the process. Dialogue means an exchange of ideas, it means two way at minimum, it means sustained over a period of time. Dialogue is one of the most powerful tools of strategic planning. Of course if it is unstructured it quickly earns a reputation as a waste of time. Hence the structure and its importance to meaningful and effective strategic planning process.

Strategic Planning as Structured Decisions

The purpose of a structured planning dialogue is to come to a decision. When the process of dialogue is guided by structure (rules of focus, sequence, evidence, and analysis) the decisions reached are also structured. The structure should bring integrity, clarity, validity, and support for the decision reached. Strategic decisions focus upon the relationship between the organization and the environment in which it exists. The sequence of events leading to a decision is important to ensure adequate deliberation and information has been considered. Rules of evidence require substantive information from reliable sources to inform the decision. Once provided the evidence is analyzed to determine its meaning within the context of the decision to be made. Without these elements decisions seem arbitrary. Even with these elements processes run by a few, seemingly excluding others can seem arbitrary and capricious.

Strategic Planning as Structured Problem Solving

The right decision requires choosing the correct path, option or direction. To choose requires working through a complex set of what if we do, what if we don’t, what are the intended outcomes, what are the unintended outcomes. This exercise of problem solving

Strategic Planning as a Management Structure

The right decision requires choosing the correct path, option or direction. To choose requires working through a complex set of what if we do, what if we don’t, what are the intended outcomes, what are the unintended outcomes. This exercise of problem solving

Strategic Planning and Accreditation

Virtually every accrediting body in education requires formal planning as part of its eligibility and evaluation framework. A sampling of regional standards relating to planning is provided here to convey the importance of planning in accreditation and provide insight into accrediting body expectations. Every academic administrator should be intimately aware of all accreditation standards’ and their relevance to their function inside the institution.

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