What is the Value of Strategic Planning?

by Aron Goldman, JCamp 180 Mentor

If strategic planning was considered "Faddish" in 2007, it must be a tired old cliché by now. This article - "The Case Against Strategic Planning" - is about independent day schools, but it might as well be about Jewish camps. We at JCamp 180 still believe strongly in the value of strategic planning, but this article does a good job identifying pitfalls. Of which there are many. 
One example is the claim that Strategic Planning isn't strategic at all. It stifles creative thinking by imposing a linear implementation plan.
But in my experience, the value of strategic planning is not its ability to perfect the big picture mission and vision, nor its ability to overcome operational challenges. Instead, what is special--and powerful--about strategic planning is its ability to bind the big picture to implementation, bringing the whole thing together. There is a time and place for pure creativity and expansive abstract thinking, but strategic planning is not it. And so in this sense, "strategic" does not mean "creative," it means figuring out how to maximize limited resources to realize as much of the mission and vision as possible
Read the whole article and you'll be a more prudent and circumspect strategic planner!

Thank you to Leslie Ornstein, board member at Camp B'nai Brith of Ottawa, for referring me to this article!