When a Narrower Strategic Plan Makes Sense
Strategic plans and COVID mean thinking differently about the future
Preet Bassi, CAE, CEO of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, faced a couple of challenges late last year as the association’s strategic planning retreat approached. First was the strategic plan itself—CPSE’s current five-year plan was expiring, and it needed to determine the priorities for the next one. Then there was the question of how best to do high-level strategic work remotely due to the pandemic, in a way that would be effective.
The solution CPSE arrived at was a somewhat risky one: It decided that it would develop a two-year strategic plan instead of a five-year one. Risky, because strategic plans are meant to be future-focused, and two years is a narrow stretch of time.
But Bassi says the decision was wiser than the other option under discussion—to just punt on strategic planning at all for a year. And a two-year plan was an opportunity for the association, which represents fire and emergency services professionals, to better address the more immediate strategic issues that COVID-19 presented.
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