By Shannon Sage
Strategic Planning 101 for Politicians

Taking a step back, we know that Strategic Planning serves a variety of purposes in organizations. There are too many benefits to list in this short blog, but here are a few quick ones that should communicate the value strategic planning delivers to organizations large and small:

  1. Having a strategic plan and, therefore a succinct strategy, brings clarity and focus, thereby producing more efficiency and effectiveness.
  2. It ensures time, resources, and actions are not wasted.  If every part of your organization is not pointed in the same direction, you’ll end up going in circles –frustrating yourself and your employees.
  3. Ability to set realistic objectives and goals that are demanding, yet attainable.
  4. The ability to clearly communicate the objectives and goals to constituents.
  5. Develop a better internal coordination of activities.

Do politicians lose sight of these benefits?  To be fair, not all do.  We work with a handful of County and City Governments, State Senators, as well as various departments within branches of the Military and they have solid plans in place.   I would however conclude that it is glaringly obvious that those in Congress have lost this focus.  The recent election shed some light on the situation.  The article in the Washington Post Article does as well.

Politics aside, I’d like to challenge some of the leaders in Washington (Democrats, Republicans, Independents and even the Tea Party) to perhaps take a step back and move forward with the basics of some strategy development.

Maybe it’s time to get serious about the business at hand and get focused.  Strategic Planning can be a step in that direction. The next challenge would be the strategic plan implementation where the difficulty level grows exponentially.