The Need for a Strategic Plan

The Need for a Strategic Plan    

Strategic planning is the most important process any organization (corporate, non-profit, and government) uses to achieve its goals.  It is the mechanism with which you decide your vision for the future; gather data and projections about the economics and demographics of the horizon; garner input from your stakeholders (citizens, peers, interlocking organizations....); and finally develop a financial plan that supports the vision.

Strategic planning is second nature to me.  During my career at Freescale, each of my organizations underwent a form of strategic planning each year.  When I ran Freescale's $6B Supply Chain, I tasked a whole organization to work on the plan regularly to extend the planning horizon each month.  What I learned is that the effort put into this type of planning helped us make our day-to-day decisions more efficiently and because we purposely included our partners in the process, these decisions were supported by all those involved.

Non-profits are no different.  While serving on the board oft SafePlace (Austin non-profit that provides housing, healing, and support for individuals and families affected by domestic violence, and sexual assault), I was asked to lead the organization through the creation of their 3 year strategic plan.  From this plan, came strategic items like the LIFT Alliance (SafePlace & Austin's Children Shelter) which later merged into SAFE.  As Chairman of the TexARTS board, we executed a strategic plan which helped the organization plan to reduce debt and re-launch its professional series.  Inside a handful of years almost $250K of debt was eliminated through business plan changes and fundraising.  This work lead to TexARTS becoming financially stable and able to start receiving grants again (most grants cannot be given when an organization is in debt).

We are at a crucial time for the City of Lakeway.  Decisions we are making today will affect the next 20 years.  I do not want to wake up 15 years from now and realize that I need to move because I cannot afford the property taxes.  As your Mayor, I will drive a strategic planning process with a committee of volunteers to develop the next 20 year plan that balances growth and development with community amenities (like parks and trails).  It will be data driven with formal economic and demographic studies AND it will have plenty of time for community input BEFORE all of the decisions are made.  In the end, we will create a strategic plan that will support a thriving Lakeway community.