Guiding Organizational Transition with a Strategic Roadmap in North Slope Borough, Alaska

All organizations are in a constant state of influx. Changes in staffing and leadership are something that all organizations face at some point or another. The uneasiness and uncertainty that accompanies these periods of time can be battled with one thing – a solid strategic roadmap.

During a recent facilitation for the North Slope Borough School District in Alaska, we saw first-hand the impact a solid strategic direction provides. During a time where North Slope is onboarding newly-elected board members, transitioning their superintendent, and experiencing some staffing changes due to retirement, they’re looking to their strategic rock for guidance.

Here are a few takeaways we had from the facilitation:

  • It’s a strategic roadmap, not a straightjacket. Especially when transitioning leadership and board members, a strategic roadmap serves as a guide for the future. It might dictate where you’re going, but it’s also easy [and much faster] for transitioning leadership to see how they can influence and change an organization to get to the same place.
  • A solid strategic direction makes it easier to onboard people. If you understand where you’re going and why, it’s easier for people you’re onboarding to understand what their role is within the organization.
  • It’s valuable to have a plan that considers the past and looks into the future. North Slope Borough School District uniquely has been vigilant in managing the performance of their plan for the past five years. It gives their new members the unique ability to look back and see challenges, what worked, and what didn’t.

For North Slope, their plan to systemically change their community still stands. It’s always amazing to see an organization dedicated to seriously changing the lives of their people, even if it means pressing against issues that can take more than a decade to solve. Hats off to North Slope!



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