Strategic planning is a process, not an event.
Take a look at this sample action plan that takes a minimum of four months (Names have been marked out to protect the confidentiality of my client).
A huge mistake you can make in preparing your strategic planning session is to invite everyone you know for political reasons, and not for their expertise, skill sets, and commitment. If you have 50 people in the room setting course then it is almost impossible to reach genuine consensus and most time will be spent talking about tactics vs. objectives. In case you were wondering arriving at result driven objectives is the goal of the strategic planning session.
Another big mistake is not doing enough due diligence to select the right participants, with the proper skill sets, and the right attitude to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that has enough flash foresight to stay ahead of industry trends. These individuals must be committed, not compliant. They must be able to engage in healthy dialogue, not withhold information because of self-interests or political involvement.
I recommend fifteen participants maximum. Ten or twelve is ideal.
They represent both key operational staff, volunteer members, and outside influencers who have specialized expertise necessary to advise the group.
Ask yourself the following three questions indicated on the chart below and make sure each participant ranks high on your scale to reach maximum performance of the live facilitation.