Love ’em, or hate ’em, this is the time of year for New Year’s resolutions and setting goals.
I’m one of those people who believe in goal setting—for me and for organizations. I find strategic planning engaging, setting SMART objectives invigorating, and tracking progress towards goals exhilarating. As a friend of mine recently said, “You’re a total geek.” Yep, I am indeed a planning geek. It’s no accident that I work with organizations and businesses to develop plans—it’s work that I love.
Developing and implementing a strategic plan for the organization is a fundamental board responsibility. However, it is a challenge to engage your board in this responsibility if they don’t believe in the importance of planning. Here are a few reasons why planning is important:
1. The act of developing a plan—whether it’s a strategic plan or a plan for an event—gets everyone on the same page. A plan answers these questions: “What are we trying to do here?” “What does success look like?” “How will we approach our goals?” With everyone moving in the same direction, the likelihood for success increases.
2. Having a plan helps an organization be a better steward of its resources. Clarity of direction enables staff and volunteers to understand what the priorities are and where they should be spending their time and the money of the organization.
3. Related to the above, a plan provides focus. When we are focused on something, it helps us screen out extraneous activities and opportunities. It also allows us to take advantage of opportunities that may help propel us toward our goals.
How’s your organization doing as it enters 2013? Do you know where you want to be by the end of the year? If not, it may be time to set some goals to help focus your attention and resources and get everybody on the same page.