What I know or think I know about organisational theory and strategic planning.
- There is a big difference between theory and practice. I’ve been to lots of planning meetings, visioning meetings and been involved in SWOT analyses. Lots of them went no farther than that. Without a plan of action, responsible particpants and regular review/followup, it really accomplishes nothing and in fact can be very demoralizing. Hearing moans of “Nothing ever changes” can become a real downer!
- One person can’t do it all — I need to constantly remind myself of this. I can tend to try to take on too much myself. Nothing changes if only one person actively wants it. Accept that change is a slow moving beast.
- Proactive is waaaay better than reactive. Being proactive means having strategies in place before crises happen. Policies are one of the proactive measures I’ve begun to put in place at our school library. I’ve watched way too many issues handled at school reactively. There is no time to think clearly, decisions are made emotionally instead of rationally, and the whole situation can generate a lot of ill-will. Essentially ends up being about damage control.
- Reading Stephen Covey I learned the difference between urgency and importance and began to mentally apply his time management matrix whenever someone asks me to do something. It helps me to say “No” with a lot less guilt. “I’m not a fireman”, I think to myself. It really works!
Evaluation of plans and strategies is something I’ve not had much experience with. People often think of evaluation as negative but if you’ve been working hard to do your best and have a plan perhaps evaluation can give one a feeling of accomplishment.
Photo courtesy — http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattdevino/338967152/