Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2014 - (Page 42)
Flight Plan for the Strategic Plan
BY BOB HARRIS, CAE
YOU'VE HAD A planning retreat, and everyone was enthusiastic about
the new direction and ideas. But as the planning team returns to their
offices, most forget their commitment to the new strategic plan.
This "checklist" is similar to an airline
pilot's flight plan and pre-flight checklist.
Things have to be done in order and at the
right times to be successful. For instance
you can't load the passengers but forget
to fuel the plane.
Similarly you cannot create the plan
and then forget to align committees or
monitor its progress.
Use the flight plan and schedule to
integrate the strategic plan.
Immediately after the
* Circulate a draft of the plan within 10
to 14 days so leaders can see the results
of their discussions and decisions.
When the plan is still fresh, there may
be other good ideas that come to mind.
* Share the plan with staff to enlighten
them about discussions and decisions
at the retreat. This will reduce anxieties about what the board did and invite
* Present a final draft of the strategic
plan at the next board meeting. Have
the motion approved as the official
42 * Third Quarter 2014
roadmap for the organization by a
motion of the board.
* Inform members, communities and
stakeholders of the new plan. Describe
enhancements to the organization, new
ideas and direction (supporting ROI).
Do this through articles, the website,
announcements and dissemination to
components, where applicable.
* Publicize the report with collateral
material. Transform the typed pages
into a brochure that informs members,
prospects and sponsors of the organization's direction. Promote the plan
using a brochure or PDF at meetings,
on the website and in new member kits.
Design an information card or bookmarks with the new mission, vision
and goals, plus contact information.
Distribute them liberally.
* Most membership brochures can benefit from a fresh look. After creating
a strategic plan brochure, consider
creating a membership brochure that
complements the plan. This ties joining and renewal to the organization's
mission, goals and strategies.
* If there are components, give them tools
to inform local members about the strategic direction. Provide copies of the plan,
collateral and a PowerPoint.
* Add the plan to the website. Too many
organizations include history and bylaws
on their website but fail to promote strategic direction.
* Appoint a plan-champion. Similar to the
treasurer overseeing the budget, the planchampion monitors progress on the plan.
Consider the president-elect for this role.
At three months
The plan should be integrated into the
organization. It will have an impact on
nearly every aspect.
* Align the plan with the budget. The budget is not the driver of the organization,
but the reverse. The strategic plan should
both generate and expend funds through
programs and projects.
* Under each goal the committees should
be aligned. A strategic goal without a
committee or champion is likely to fail.
Be sure committees have a copy of the
strategic plan in their folder so they are
always working to advance the strategies
* The staff or departments will want
take "ownership" of elements of the
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2014
From the President
Dressing Your Entire Utility for Success
Go the Extra Mile
Customer Service: Getting Along With Mildred
Changing of the Guard in Public Works
Employee Rights and Their Limits
Professional Status Is Achievable…Isn’t It?
Power Up the Board Retreat
Cleared for Takeoff! Flight Plan for the Strategic Plan
The Safe Drinking Water Act’s 40th Anniversary
Throwing My Loop
Index to advertisers/advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2014