Strategic Planning

We live in an increasingly complex and interconnected world where innovations and sustainable solutions to the challenges we face depend upon our ability to be flexible during times of rapid change, appreciate diverse perspectives, be comfortable with uncertainty, hold multiple points of view simultaneously, and engage in meaningful conversations with those who hold different traditions, values and goals.

Recognizing that there is a strong desire among communities, businesses and organizations to engage in strategic planning that leads to sustainable action in complex times, the Meadowlark Institute offers a program of strategic planning that has three core components. These components can be initiated in their entirety or individually. Component One is a Current Status Scan that sets a baseline for the work to be done. Component Two, based on the principle that people support and care about what they are a part of creating, are Dialogues with residents, employees, or stakeholders that the Institute co-hosts with the leadership of a community, business or organization in order to bring all their creativity and wisdom of into the strategic planning process. The Third Component is development in collaboration with a core planning team of a clear Strategic Action Plan.

Meadowlark Institute staff have a strong set of core strategic planning tools we can bring to the work to be of the best service to your community, business or organization. Staff are experienced in the Technology of Participation Participatory Strategic Planning process, the Chaordic Stepping Stones planning process, Scenario Planning, Theory U, and Design Charrettes. These planning methods serve as the foundation for the three core components of planning.

Core Components:

1) Current Status Scan: Meadowlark Institute staff will review the most recent strategic plan to assess the status of achieving its goals and objectives. The review will help set a baseline for work yet to be done, changes over time in proposed goals and what goals should be/could be carried forward into the new strategic plan. Institute staff will also interview organization leaders and to gain an understanding of current issues, opportunities and concerns. The purpose of the interviews is to essentially learn about what is on people's minds today concerning the organization to serve as a base for the work of Component Two in the planning process – the dialogue process.

2) Dialogues: The Meadowlark Institute will engage in dialogues with residents, employees, or stakeholders of a community, business or organization. in order to bring all their creativity and wisdom of into the strategic planning process. These dialogues have four key purposes. First, they develop a comprehensive understanding of what is on the minds of the stakeholders in the process and what it is they really care about. Second, the dialogues invite stakeholders to bring their creativity and wisdom into the planning process. Third, because they are participants in the process, they develop ownership in the process and support and take responsibility for the outcomes. Finally, the dialogues will invite stakeholders to explore what is possible by building on what is working, not what is wrong.

Meadowlark Institute staff are skilled in hosting several dialogic practices, depending on group size and intention, including World Café, Circle, Open Space Technology, and Appreciative Inquiry.

3) Action Planning: Meadowlark Institute staff will facilitate an action planning process that will clarify or modify the current organization vision/mission that will serve as a foundation for the strategic plan, examine any barriers to implementing the vision, develop strategic directions/actions to address barriers and move forward toward the vision, and a detailed implementation plan each of the action areas, including a clear vision of a successful result. This work can be done with a core team, with work groups or with the entire staff.

Meadowlark Institute staff are skilled in hosting several planning practices including Technology of Participation Participatory Strategic Planning process, the Chaordic Stepping Stones planning process, Scenario Planning, Theory U, and Design Charrettes. Contact Jerry if you would like to discuss how the Meadowlark Institute can be of service to your organization, business or community.