Joyous Strategic Planning

When I was working as a fundraising consultant, my team would hold strategic planning retreats. At first these meetings would happen once a year and we would set our goals and then get on with things. One day we were cleaning out old files and we found a list of goals from one of our early meetings. This meeting was so long ago that many of the team members were not even around anymore. Much to our surprise when we reviewed the goals we had actually accomplished all of the things we set out to do. We could see the power in writing down our intentions.

And by this point we could also see that we had an improved system that helped us reach those goals faster and more efficiently. We had moved to a twice a year retreat schedule supported by monthly accountability meetings. The retreats were full day off site meetings and gave us a chance to disconnect from the day-to-day and see the big picture. It also gave us a chance to bond as a team and have some fun. We prepared for these retreats by talking to stakeholders and getting feedback on our work and ideas for new initiatives. We would walk away from these retreats with a renewed sense of passion and list of goals and an action plan. We also knew exactly who was responsible and when the tasks needed to be done by.

We all know that human nature can sometimes lead us to put off work until a deadline approaches. Because we all have so much to focus on short term our long term goals can get lost. To counterbalance this we implemented a monthly two hour lunch meeting to report on our actions, seek feedback, and get support when necessary. These meetings were designed to be fun, energizing and motivating. And doesn’t food always make meetings more enjoyable?

So yes I am a huge fan of strategic planning and goal setting. When I started coaching I was introduced to a new way of looking at SMART goals. In co-active coaching, goals are still Specific and Measurable but the ART is Accountable, Resonant and Thrilling. Are you really willing to do what it takes to reach this goal? Is your goal really what you want? Does it connect to your values? Does it scare you and stretch you into something bigger. This change made strategic planning even more exciting for me. Imagine a world where every organization and every person was pursuing thrilling goals.

Recently I created a one year vision for my coaching business. It aligns completely with my values and is certainly is thrilling and scary. I know to reach this vision I have to set goals and an action plan. And because I know that coaching is the best way to achieve extraordinary results, I am working with a mentor coach to set my SMART goals.

And even more importantly I have come to realize how truly important it is to stay connected to my vision and to live and breathe it every day. For me it is really key to talk about my vision as a way to bring it to life. I so value the people in my circle who let me speak the vision. These cheerleaders are going to bring me to success with their pom poms a waving.

So I ask you today, what do you need to do to connect to your vision and goals?

© 2011, Janice Cunning. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this posting if you include my contact information. Please contact me if you wish to reprint any portion of it in any periodical or on a website

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About Janice Cunning

As a certified coach and fundraiser, I am passionate about partnering with people and teams to increase their personal and professional Joy Quota.

Comments

  1. I love this post… brings back some of my fondest memories.

    SMART goals. In co-active coaching, goals are still Specific and Measurable but the ART is Accountable, Resonant and Thrilling. Are you really willing to do what it takes to reach this goal? Is your goal really what you want? Does it connect to your values? Does it scare you and stretch you into something bigger.

    I’ll have to do this in my life. Thanks Janice.

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