A Common Vision
Strategic planning is not always the answer for what ails an agency. It is just a set of concepts, procedures, and tools. It will not solve funding problems, overcome personnel or management problems, control the future, avert a crisis, or guarantee success. It is almost certain to disturb the status quo, stimulate stress, create confusion, and point out things people in your agency may not want to see. But it is the best process for creating a common vision for the future and common understanding of what must be done to get there. Coming together to make those decisions creates ownership and commitment to the mission and goals of the agency.
It will take time to see a payoff. The organization will probably have to engage in strategic planning three or four times before it becomes "natural." The core planning team must be enthusiastic sponsors and supporters of the process. Ultimately, strategic planning works because the management, staff, and board want it to work.