After more than a decade in existence, my department has no mission, vision, or long-term plans in place. The time has come. What do I do?
- We are a university department that runs a number of programs that provide access and support for non-traditional students.
- We need to do some significant fundraising.
- We are often presented with opportunities for growth (new programs, more students), which we address in an ad-hoc way.
- We have just come through an extremely difficult period that ended with the termination of an incompetent and toxic admin support person. Our managers were beaten down by the experience.
- Our assistant manager is on sabbatical this year. A colleague and I have divided her duties between us. We want to create plan instead of lurching from one crisis/event to the next. Our manager is vaguely on board but is an academic with no positive experience of planning exercises (endless meetings, dust-collecting reports).
- What is the basic process of strategic planning? We are thinking of a gradual process of collecting and analysing information about us (e.g., interview the team and students; SWOT analysis, etc.). Then in a few months, a retreat to come up with a mission and some goals. Are we on the right track? Can you offer more detailed suggestions?
- We are thinking of hiring a consultant to lead the department through a strategic planning exercise. Any advice for us here? Your experience?
- Any reading suggestions? I have browsed in the library but most is geared toward for-profit business and has a corporate feel that would be quite distasteful to many on our team. Anything good for non-profits, especially in education?