Strategic planning reading list

We’re working on our strategic plan. We have a mission statement and our values and are now working on the vision thing. I’ve handed out a couple of readings to get the visions/hallucinations fermenting. Submitted for your approval: our favorites from our reading list:

  • Can You Say What Your Strategy Is? April 2008 HBR article–you can probably get it for free at your college library via one of their databases. This article does a terrific job explaining what “strategy” is and how, to define one, you need to make some choices regarding who you are and who you are not.
  • 2009 Horizon Report for insight into technology trends
  • Latest SCUP report to learn more about the impact of external factors on higher education generally (though there is a technology section too)

Regarding the plan itself, I favor short plans covering short time periods. In our case, I want our plan to be less than 10 pages and to cover the next 3 years. Remember, this is a strategic plan; it’s not a 3-year “to do” list. Finally, the plan needs to relate effectively to the overall goals of your parent organization AND don’t forget to build into it some fixed “assessment/how are we doing?” check points.

Any other thoughts? Suggestions? Readings?

3 Responses to “Strategic planning reading list”

  1. rufusb said:

    Mar 20, 09 at 6:22 am

    Do you see the strategic plan as a way to subtly suggest a change in culture that you would like to see? Or is it not so subtle? In other words, is the strategic plan solely about numbers and plans or is it an instructive document, as well? Is this what you mean by “values”?

  2. rufusb said:

    Mar 20, 09 at 7:29 am

    A friend of mine has just started a new company that uses music and songwriting for team building. Your team can be a rock band for a day! A really neat idea…

  3. admin said:

    Mar 20, 09 at 1:00 pm

    I think the strategic plan should be less about numbers and more about culture and organizational change. Numbers sound like tactics to me. So, for example, I think that for my organization, for the next few years, a value of “openness” would be strategic. We need to gain experience with open source software, with open communications, more transparency, etc. The other piece of the plan, the vision, can be harder to determine. A good starting point is looking at your company’s (department, school, etc.) strategic plan or plans over the next few years. In higher ed, you might ask, where are the big hires? The new programs? The environmental influences, etc?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.