Creating a Strategic Planning Process that Creates the Confidence of a Tightrope Walker

Why we trust our clients to go out into the world boldly

Have you ever heard of Harry Colcord?  Yeah, me either...until I was doing some reading about tightrope walker and funambulist (say that five times fast) Charles Blondin.  Colcord was Blondin’s manager.  He trusted Blondin so much that he rode piggyback on Blondin’s back across Niagara Falls…willingly…on a tightrope.  Colcord trusted Blondin with his life – literally!  He had great confidence in Blondin and his abilities. 

That’s the kind of confidence I have in our clients after spending months getting to know them and their work.  I fully believe they can achieve what they are setting out to do.  Why?

3 Reasons I Believe in Our Strategic Planning Clients

1. It’s their plan!  We don’t write a plan for them - we help guide them as they write their plan.  They know their clients, their staff, and their leadership best.  We get to help them collect and digest all the data and then use that data to craft a plan that can guide them through the next three to five years.  Sometimes that means pushing or challenging clients to do hard things, hear difficult feedback, and make complicated decisions.  Because of that, if the plan is not their plan, in their voice, when it gets difficult they won’t believe in it or champion it. 

2. It’s outward focused!  A strategic plan that doesn’t look beyond an organization’s walls is an operational plan.  Strategic planning is about missional alignment and achievement.  Maybe that is the change they want to see in the world, in their line of business, or in the academic landscape.   We push our clients to make sure they are focusing outside their walls to achieve their mission. Which leads to the third reason...

3. It includes THEIR client's voice!  Flourishing isn’t something one imposes upon others.  Instead it’s discovered together.  That is why we are so invested in making sure the end user’s voice is a part of the process and we work really hard to make sure our clients are authentically engaging THEIR clients as they look to the future.  Read more about our thoughts on inclusion and community engagement here

When our clients invest in their future, seek input from external stakeholders, and authentically listen to the people they serve; I believe they can achieve whatever it is they set their sights on.  I have so much confidence in them I’d let them carry me across Niagara Falls.