There are as many approaches to planning work as there are consultants. Often, it is advantageous to begin a planning process with an initial “plan to plan” discussion that clarifies objectives, familiarizes everyone with the process and contemplates various outcomes.
We believe that the early stages of planning work are especially critical – understanding the environment in which you do business, the trends shaping the industry and, most importantly, understanding how the organization creates value for its stakeholders and constituents. Bringing the consumer’s perspective to the planning table is, perhaps, what most distinguishes our planning work. With these crucial pieces in place, a planning process can play out in many different ways.
In general, our approach to planning is highly collaborative and consultative, involving multiple levels of board, staff, and stakeholder input and any number of open discussions with a small group of key individuals who constitute a planning committee. The critical transition in any planning process is moving from analysis and input to consensus on vision, goals and strategy. Rushing this process is not advisable.
Planning is important work. Achieving organization-wide alignment around vision and goals is crucial to fulfilling the promise of mission. In reality, planning work is never done. What matters most is the quality of conversation. We like to quote Dwight Eisenhower, who said "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
WolfBrown’s planning services include: