Wednesday 17 February 2016

Making important things happen

Perhaps strategy is something I should have started my #29daysofwriting with, but maybe I felt that might restrict how I wrote - is that really a strength and/or weakness of strategies?

So here I am, day 17, having read @helenrogerson80 on staffrm, and possibly with strategy in mind from budget training, and recent work meetings, considering the value of strategies and how they are implemented.

When I worked as a Creative Agent in Schools I hacked through dense SIPs and SEPs with SLTs to make sure there was 'whole school change' with creativity embedded. In the University we have the new 'Making important things happen' 5 year strategic framework, around which we build a range of careers strategy plans at a more 'operational' level.

As an educator, my first response to our strategy title was that it made no mention of 'people' or 'learning' - clearly important things in Higher Education. Closer examination of the document revealed a clearer 'vision' with some good examples of our 'purpose'.  The detail is, of course, missing from this 'high level' strategy.

At the other end of our 'strategic spectrum' are the more 'operational' strategic plans, listing more specific objectives, goals and measurements.  I have responsibilty for a 3 year 'online development strategy plan.  We are are 18 months in to it, and have met many of our objectives - however many goals and measures are either no longer relevant, and many more added which contribute to our objectives.  'Making important things happen' didn't exist 18 months ago, and still more related  'lower level' strategic plans have come and gone in the past 18 months.

While a 'strategy' is a singular thing, more fixed and clear, strategic planning is a 'management communication' of how strategic objectives can be met - as such, strategic planning must be forward-looking but not rigid.  'Strategic planning' are the details of how your strategy is to be met, and not the strategy itself.

Perhaps it wasn't a 'strategy' that might have restricred my blog writing, but an overly rigid strategic plan.

Part of #29daysofwriting


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