Strategic Planning or Strategic Guessing

2017 has been earmarked by HDCH’s leadership as a year to do strategic planning. Some of you might be asking, what’s a strategic plan? Or, why in 2017? Or, does it really even matter?

What is a strategic plan? It involves reviewing where we are at now, asking some tough questions about what we see and re-evaluating our vision in order to shape the direction in which we move forward. The leadership of HDCH believes that it is important for us to do this regularly. And, thankfully, we enter this process during a time of health and stability for HDCH. Sometimes strategic planning is done when an organization is in crisis, and all too often we don’t do any strategic planning when things are going well. And so, it is with this in mind that the leadership team felt it important to explore where things are at and then make some projections for the future of HDCH.

Why in 2017? The industry standard is that the lifespan of any strategic plan is at most five years. HDCH’s last strategic plan was adopted in 2011/2012. And so it is this year that we have set out to have retreats, collect data, do analysis and do some visioning. We are even hoping to establish an external team to audit HDCH next fall, in all areas–not just finance.

Does it even really matter? I believe it does. As we have begun the process, looking at our last plan and comparing it to our present reality, we can see how some of the dreams and visions we had have come to pass. We have also seen some ideas and plans that have not. We can begin to see where we still need to grow, and where we need to let go. Also, we are hopeful that all stakeholders will get an opportunity to speak into our future through this process. We have already started hearing from staff and Board members, and parents and community members will be weighing in later this year. We are excited about this process because this type of planning can and will set the direction for our school over the next five years.

We share this to let you know that we are planning strategically this year. We believe this process is very valuable. We covet your input. And while we know that a strategic plan isn’t always exactly what happens, it definitely gives the leadership a map of where we want to go for the next five years. We look forward to seeing what plans our community builds–together.

Nathan Siebenga