To achieve wide acceptance and buy-in, strategic planning should involve as many key stakeholders as possible. Accordingly, AFS Consulting prefers to get input from a number of sources: staff, executives, and broad members and decision makers.
- We interview as many stakeholders as necessary in advance of and group session to initiate thinking and establish trust;
- We bring the group(or groups) of key decision makers and stakeholders together for a one or two day session (often off site);
- We facilitate brainstorming or other discussion methods to identify issues facing the group; usually some form of SWOT analysis is done, identifying sorting and prioritizing the issues; then
- Conduct (high level) action planning to address each issue; producing ‘as said’ notes of the session.
AFS Consulting does not write the strat plan for the organization, though we may help; it is much better if a trusted internal agent is the architect of the plan document who will sponsor its adoption by the Executive. Finally, the process must address the need for the plan being effectively transmitted to the various stakeholders in the organization.