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ISAE Blog

How to Sabotage Your Strategic Plan

Posted by Jay Dziwlik, MBA, CAE on May 17, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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You are an evil mastermind who is hell bent on the total and complete destruction of your association’s strategic plan. So what are your steps to sabotage your strategic plan?

  1. Agree in public, complain in private. Passively or partially supporting a strategy is not really support. Staff and volunteers need to work to create a plan that has all voices heard and result in one that is publically and privately supported.
  1. Put it in a binder on the shelf. It is there in case anybody asks, but don’t make it too intrusive on your day to day operation. Don’t make it a regular part of conversation. If you ignore it, eventually the volunteers and staff will forget it with all the other urgent work before them.
  1. Ask the stakeholders to demonstrate you care not for input. Everybody has an opinion and you should give it but the core leaders really understand the organization. Don’t put too much stock in those far from the problem.
  1. Lie to yourself about how great everything is. There is plenty of negativity in the world. Pessimistic viewpoints just bring everybody down and take the energy and joy away from the problems facing the association. Focusing on the weak points or challenging trends just highlight the negative. This thinking may also focus attention on staff and volunteers, for the current situation may result in blame.
  1. Make the process as painful as possible. If you draw out the process or create extra work in the plan, this will give people a bad experience they may not want to try again.
  1. Make the process too long or too short. Draw it out so everybody is sick of it and just can’t wait for it to be done, or make it go as fast as you can so you don’t dig very deep into the issues and have a weak product.
  1. Make the goals impractical. Too big or too small both are similarly effective. Too big and you can say, “See, the plan doesn’t work.” Too small and you will accomplish everything in a month and not have to change much.
  1. Don’t measure. Avoid metrics at all cost. If you don’t measure anything you can really grade anything or anyone. Be sure to equally apply this to board, volunteers and staff goals.
  1. Don’t fund it. Giving responsibility without any resources is sure to kill any endeavor. You also can use budget as a reason not for plans to move forward. Separating budgets from strategic plans by timing and process make this easier.
  1. Avoid talking about the plan. Don’t put it on agendas or staff meetings or any of your committee meetings. If fact, make it “need to know” information for higher up muckety mucks. Don’t bring up at all in employee evaluations. Strategic plans are best discussed in length and ad nausea when you are making them but avoid them once they are done.

Well there you have it. Follow those steps and you will sure to have a useless strategic plan. Congratulations. Thank me later.

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Topics: Strategic Planning

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