• Mike Vachow

Top 5 Reasons Why Now is the Time for Strategic Planning

Updated: Apr 4

  1. We are collectively in greater need of aspiration than in anyone's lifetime. A collaborative, transparent strategic planning process offers everyone one in a school community a chance to raise their sights from the person 6 feet in front of them to more distant, hopeful horizons. Most boards have spent the last three years focused on the operational tactics that allowed kids and teachers to be safe. Strategic planning provides a very deliberate return to the strategic perspective from which they ideally operate.

  2. A well-organized strategic planning process is a purposeful way to draw a community back together, to review and re-socialize the mission that attracted everyone to the school in the first place and to imagine its growth in the years ahead. As we've begun being on site with clients, we've had the privilege of witnessing some joyful reunions among school community friends who hadn't seen each other for almost two years.

  3. If your school was in the middle of a plan, it is impossible to imagine that the pandemic did not render some of it obsolete and all of it in need of significant review and adjustment.

  4. The process provides a structured way to curate the school's pandemic innovations and key learnings and to reflect on exterior factors altered by the pandemic and to weave both into the vision for the school in the years ahead. We've encountered several schools who are considering expansion because of an influx of families moving from major cities. These schools cautiously assumed that these moves would be temporary, but two years later, most of these families have made it clear that they're staying. The existential reflections occasioned by the pandemic have caused these families to put their New York and Los Angeles days behind them.

  5. The structure of the process fits the moment in terms of the faculty's energy. A good strategic planning process allows everyone concise ways to contribute but puts most of the work in the hands of a smaller, multi-constituency committee. Heads will still need to be cautious next year in what they ask teachers to do outside the classroom. Among the kinds of institution-wide initiatives back-burnered by the pandemic, a strategic plan is eminently doable without a huge cost in human resources.

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