Director, Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District
Over the last two years we had experienced unprecedented growth
for a small agency. Doing any type
of strategic thinking seemed overwhelming: we had a fear of what the future held; can we sustain this?
But we needed a road map to be responsible to taxpayers.
I was asked by the Board to create a strategic framework, but previously
had bad experiences with the strategic planning process. I had been with an organization that had an inch-thick strategic plan buried in a file drawer somewhere. We are a smaller agency and we’re public; we’re not a good fit for most of the companies who do strategic planning.
I don’t usually meet with strategic consultants, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Mike listened to us, he assessed our situation, and he boiled it down to what we wanted to accomplish. He asked what was realistic; it was a tailored approach. He suggested that “a simple one-page plan might be what you need.” He was also sensitive to the fact that my Board and my staff might have differing goals that would need to complement one another. He allowed everyone in the organization, from the Board through each employee, to own the process. There was buy-in.
We created a simplified version of a plan with everything on one piece of paper that contains all of our key strategies. We manage to that now. When we report, we report to that now. We use it to measure our milestones. And we talk about bigger issues that
we might not have felt comfortable discussing in the past. It’s an awesome thing. As time passes, other issues have and will surface, but we’re able to address them. We couldn’t be happier with the results.