Discovery Phase – Widespread distribution of a user-friendly survey to gain input on what staff consider most pressing issues, especially from those not participating in virtual planning sessions. Included cataloguing recent accomplishments and current department state of affairs.
Design Meeting – Core planning team developed focus and 3-4 most compelling issues to be addressed by the plan.
Consultant and Facilitation Team – Partnered with experienced subcontractors of virtually facilitated meetings, HueLife and Bourke & Associates, to produce virtual sessions, i.e., handle technology, incorporate engagement strategies, co-facilitate brainstorming breakouts using tried and true ToP® facilitation process (ToP® – Technology of Participation), design interactive whiteboard graphics and PowerPoint slides.
Inclusive Process – Ensured that all ideas generated were given equal consideration and combined to reflect the best thinking of administrative, facility, program & field staff.
“We grew this plan from the ground up together so all levels of the organization understand and own it—there’s no learning curve to slow us down. The process set a “can do” tone with clear actions, milestones, and shared responsibilities. We are implementing what we crafted together.” Simmons said.
Virtual Strategic Planning Modules – Intentionally spaced out over 2 weeks using Zoom, Miro (whiteboard platform) and PowerPoint slides, along with Google Documents.
• Context of Current Situation and Recent Accomplishments
• National Parks & Recreation Trends Inventory to assess where this local department stacks up on current and emerging national trends
• Practical, Shared Vision for 3 years into the future that articulates consensus on key desired accomplishments and underscores alignment on the desired future
• Underlying Contradictions (internal) – a sobering, candid and respectful session that identifies unproductive patterns and dynamics that interfere with effectiveness, without resorting to finger pointing or blaming. This session is central to developing a realistic plan that accounts for internal limiting behavioral habits.
• Strategic Directions – Key Action Arenas populated with ideas to directly address Contradictions and move toward fulfillment of the Vision
• Decisions made on quarterly specific, measurable projects to populate the One-Year Project Implementation Calendar that guides day-to-day decision making
• Orientation to detailed Project Implementation Worksheets for 1st Quarter projects to support successful execution of priority initiatives
• Facilitation training for Strategic Direction Team Leaders & Plan Coordinators to carry the precedent of broad participation established during planning process into the Implementation Phase.
• Quarterly Progress Meetings to celebrate progress, make needed adjustment to the Implementation Calendar, plan for the Annual Plan Update Meeting