A couple weeks ago I mentioned that next year Dalat School will embark on a year-long planning process which will result in a five-year strategic plan for the school. I wanted to introduce this to the community a little bit more this week by answering six important questions about Dalat’s strategic plan.
What is a strategic plan? A strategic plan needs to answer three simple but very complex questions:
- Where is the school now?
- Where does the school want to be in five years?
- How are we going to get there?
Why do we need a five-year strategic plan? There are many benefits to the planning process we are about to embark on, but some of the more important ones include:
- Helping the school focus on where it wants to go.
- Creating a vision for the school.
- Engaging the community in the process.
- Clarifying for the community where the school is headed in the future.
When will we create the plan? Actually, we have already started. Last fall the school board hosted a school board retreat for schools in the region in which the speaker was a strategic planning and administrative consultant. Following the retreat, board members read two books to help in developing a strategic mindset — Peter Druckers’s Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization and Patrick Lencioni’s The Advantage. Early next year our strategic planning consultant will lead a two-day retreat with a planning committee that will develop the major goals for our plan. From there, action teams will spend a significant part of the year developing strategies and action items for the goals, which will then be presented to the board in the form of a five-year strategic plan. I will explain more about this next school year.
Who will be a part of creating this plan? Technically, everyone in the Dalat community will be a part of the process. This will be done through surveys and other steps to get input from our community. However, the bulk of the work on the plan will be done by the planning committee and the action teams. The planning committee will be made up of parents, staff, students, alumni, board members, and the administration. Our strategic planning consultant, Mr. Mike Ehrhardt (more on him next year), will lead the school through this year-long process.
Where will this take place? Obviously, most of it will happen on campus. However, some of it will take place off site when we do the retreats and set up focus groups and establish other avenues for community input.
How will we create this plan? The process itself includes a planning retreat in the fall (next September). From there action teams will work throughout the year to flesh out our goals and develop strategies and action items. This will then be finalized and put together into a plan that will serve as a guiding document for the school and our community.
I realize this was a significant amount of information for one article. Thank you for taking the time to read through it. We will continue to communicate throughout next year as we journey through developing a vision for Dalat and our community.