By Patricia L. Fitzgerald 2018-02-05 11:42:35
Caution: Strategic Thinking Underway I’LL ADMIT IT: I HAVE A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH STRATEGIC PLANNING. (Is my boss reading this? Shhhh.) I love the problem-solving aspect of the process. I find it truly rewarding, fun and downright energizing to engage my brain in devising multiple creative solutions to a challenge or quandary. (I hope this natural aptitude will stave off any encroaching dementia in my twilight years. I’m also very logical and linear in my approach to problem-solving (and writing); this step leads to that step and then to the next. So, this aspect of strategic planning also appeals to my sensibilities. And, as an inveterate resolutions-maker, I’m attracted to planning as a means to improve. I don’t care much for the research and analysis process, though, preferring to trust my instincts. And I can be way too invested in wanting my solutions to prevail as the way forward; this can make me impatient and frustrated with the practice of building consensus. I am sharing my personal reflections because I suspect that there may be more than a few of you who feel some indifference to strategic planning and might be inclined to bypass this month’s main features. I hope you won’t, because the fundamentals of the process truly are rewarding. Indeed, I have been deeply immersed in strategic planning for the last two months. In addition to directing the editorial content on this subject, I’ve been part of a team that is preparing a strategic plan to carry SNA forward into another new decade. Plus, several speakers at the recently concluded School Nutrition Industry Conference, offered intriguing suggestions about leaning forward into the future. And, of course, New Year’s resolutions. Taken all together, this has been an intense period, but an inspirational one. It has me thinking about how I should apply strategic planning principles to this magazine and to my department. Independent of, but obviously related to, the specifics of the upcoming SNA plan, how should the Communications & Marketing team be planning to address changes in communications technologies, personnel shifts, evolving customer needs and so on? We are spending a lot of time “doing”—always trying to keep all the balls in the air—but I know now, more than ever, that we’re overdue to start planning. How about you?
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