We tend to go into strategic planning sessions full of high hopes. And this is justifiable. After all, we put a lot of time, effort and resources into these annual events.
However, just like the people planning these events, the people attending them are only human. It therefore makes sense to have more human-scale expectations for our future planning sessions. Yes, there is plenty of work that must get done, and everyone has to pull his own weight to make that happen. Try to keep the following strategic planning “don’ts” in mind as you prepare for your event.
- Don’t forget about the people that are not at the meeting. Odds are, your strategic planning session is populated by your senior management team and possibly the board of directors. There are a lot of other people at your credit union who are not at the meeting but are very well aware that it is going on. It is possible they will have concerns, suspicions and no small amount of gossip about the strategic planning session.
- Don’t allow your strategic planning meeting to devolve into an operations update. Yes, a few people may need to give brief updates on their areas of responsibility. What you don’t want, however, is hours covering operations summaries. You’re there to plan for the future, not deep-dive into the minutia of daily operations.
- Don’t assume everyone is happy to be there. They certainly need to be there, but their level of commitment and excitement is not a given. Odds are, there are at least a few people at your strategic planning meeting that view it as a waste of time and a distraction from their daily workload. If necessary, discuss this with them off-line and try to realign their negative energies into the strategic planning session.
You will likely take a lengthy “to do list” into your next strategic planning session. While it’s great to check off a lot of those boxes, you should also keep in mind a few of the “do not do list” items that are likely to pop up.