Taking Strategy and Giving It Life in Fairbanks, Alaska

Feb 23, 2017

You’ve heard our mantra time-and-time again – strategic planning is less about the plan itself and more about the process of creating one and making sure it moves into execution. There’s power in having a good plan, but true potential is only reached when you actively execute against it.

For the past two years, we’ve been working with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District in Alaska for both the creation and ongoing execution of their strategic plan. Here are a few key take-aways we agree with from their opening remarks during their planning sessions:

  • Sometimes it takes a few years to see the fruits of your labor. Fairbanks is now starting to see the results of goals and actions they set in motion two years ago.
  • It’s nice to have a plan that has the flexibility for growth. They’ve decided they want to shift and grow the impact of their plan over the next five years. The way they architected the original plan gives them the flexibility to take such action.
  • If you communicate the value and stay dedicated to the process, your community does begin to care about your plan. Their commitment and dedication to the plan and process has allowed their community to buy into and pay attention to the district’s direction.
  • It’s vital to have a plan so everyone drives in the same ship. Individual tug boats going in opposite directions get nothing accomplished.

Strategy is a process, both in creation and execution. It’s consistent dedication and ongoing management that allow organizations like Fairbanks to be agile enough to grow and change their plan to adapt to their needs. Nice job, Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.



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