Strategic Planning: Encouraging Communication
In any business, change is most effective in collaboration with the whole team. When embraced by leadership from the beginning, implementing new systems or procedures will have a positive impact on the organization. Communicating and adapting early on encourages employees to have more trust in the change process and be motivated to participate. Staff is also more likely to offer innovative ideas and solutions that align with your mission if they feel included. However, if you don’t start discussing transitional change early on, it may be more difficult to get everyone on board.
The camp and retreat industry is no exception when it comes to introducing and embracing change, especially with strategic planning. The earlier you involve others, the more likely you are to see your plans prosper.
To assist you in implementing successful strategic plans, here are some ways you can encourage communication from the start.
Inform the Right People
Often, organizations use consultants, like Kaleidoscope, Inc., for strategic planning because of the great deal of work involved. Between conducting assessments, brainstorming, defining actionable steps, and setting up ways to measure progress, there is a lot to consider. So, when is the right time to let your constituents know you are looking to hire a consultant for help?
The answer: before you even have your consultation.
When you and your board members know you’re meeting with a consultant to assist with strategic planning, communication should happen immediately. Informing the right people of your upcoming consultation will give them a chance to think about the process and bring up any valid questions. This will prepare you with topics of discussion for your meeting that you may not have considered. It will also give you an indication of who on your team may be more resistant to the upcoming changes. Knowing that information will help you communicate more effectively.
Ask Thought-Provoking Questions
Once alerting the right people, you can begin discussions that will help shape your plans. The more involvement that staff, leaders, volunteers, and donors have, the more likely they are to encourage and support progress. A great way to involve people is by asking for their opinions about specific topics.
Here are some questions you may consider:
- What is your vision for these changes?
- If we could serve anyone, who would it be?
- Where do you see gaps in our operations and programming?
- What things are working well that should stay the same?
- What opportunities are we missing out on?
- How can we make improvements while staying true to our mission?
After giving people an opportunity to brainstorm, give them a chance to dream! If they could redesign the camp themselves, what would it be like? Letting them have space to think outside of the box about the future may reveal some brilliant ideas to consider.
Share the Timeline
Knowing the process and having a timeline to follow will help people conceptualize any transitions. Not only will it get them excited for the next steps, but it will prepare them for any upcoming changes to their job or responsibilities. It is especially helpful to those more resistant to change.
In addition, it keeps an extra set of eyes on the progress of the timeline which, along with your consultant, will ensure plans stay on track. Lastly, it is important to report any changes to the information so that everyone is on the same page.
Keeping people invested means providing updates. Consider a quarterly meeting that is specifically for strategic plan updates. It is a great time to discuss progress and acknowledge teams and individuals that have met their goals. Celebrating milestones will increase morale and enforce how important it is to meet deadlines and achieve objectives.
Update meetings will also ensure that everyone is still aligned with the core mission. It is a way to be more collaborative and keep engagement on the rise.
If you are investing a great deal of time and money into strategic planning, you want to know the outcomes and measurements of success. It is no different for the people on your team that have been going through this process with you from the beginning. They want to know that their efforts and the resources of the organization aren’t being wasted.
Send updates regularly to make sure that everyone is on the same page. This may look like a regularly scheduled meeting or just a recurring email. Either way, it is important to let everyone know the effects these plans are having on the organization. It is also an avenue to discuss any changes that may need to be made and open the floor to new ideas.
Strategic planning is one of the most effective ways to implement change and preserve the sustainability and vitality of your camp or retreat center. Getting your whole team on board is the best way to encourage everyone to work together towards your common goals. However, it takes communication from the very beginning of the process.
If you are getting ready to work on strategic plans, book a call with us today so we can help guide you through the process and inspire growth within your organization.