ELGL staffer Dan Englund returns to bring you transparent information and witty commentary regarding the ELGL Strategic Planning process. This week, we’re talking Strategic Direction.
Our environment is ever-changing and the future is unwritten, but we will be ready for it with an innovative strategic plan. Good things don’t come to those who wait; good things come to those who plan. A good strategic plan will serve as ELGL’s roadmap to future — or at least the next 3-5 years. This plan will serve as a formal, living, breathing document that will define who we are, where we want to go and how we’re going to get there.
Before we get into Strategic Direction, here’s a brief recap from Phase One and Two of our Strategic Planning process:
In Phase One, we discussed our visioning process. With a little help from the Yoda of Strategic Planning, Greg McKenzie, we began work on a new strategic plan to establish our organization’s programming future. During the visioning phase, we asked ourselves, “What does ELGL do?” We’re confident we do a great deal for emerging local government leaders and to support the profession, but to formally answer this, we decided we had to create a new mission statement and establish our core beliefs.
In Phase Two, we discussed our long range vision. We established a new mission statement that can be spoken through one easy to remember sentence:
“We are innovative local government leaders with a passion for connecting, communicating, and educating.”
Then we created a set of three principles that support our mission statement in order to elaborate on what we do:
- Connect: We believe that attracting and retaining professionals in local government requires making meaningful connections throughout your career.
- Communicate: We share information because learning about local government empowers us to work harder, smarter, faster, and more creatively.
- Educate: We provide educational offerings that address new trends and how we can proactively respond as local government professionals.
Next, we created a well defined list of core beliefs which will help guide ELGL as an organization, support the mission statement, and align our core principles — all within the constructs of our organizational bylaws.
Now in Phase Three, we are talking Strategic Direction. We identified six core themes for strategic direction in our new plan and then divided them into two separate categories: organizational and operational.
Organizational Strategic Direction
2. Modifying our Structure
Operational Strategic Direction
5. Member Benefits
6. Attended Events
For each theme, we asked and two questions and then answered them as a group. The first question had us define what we currently do now according to each theme. Once we established our baselines, the second question asked where we wanted to go from there and into the next 3-5 years. After having defined and elaborated on these six core strategic direction themes as a group, we are working behind the scenes to solidify them in a coherent document as part of our plan. We now know where we’re going because we have strategic direction. Next, we’ll be working on how to get there.