Introducing strategic planning, in depth

  • Purpose

    The purpose of full version of the strategic planning process, is to:

    Foster a systematic approach and ensure the successful delivery of strategic planning across the constituents in ISKCON.
    Provide an indepth view of the strategic planning process.
    Provide the step by step procesess with associated templates and tools not only to produce a compelling strategic plan for their region, temple or project but also assists with the processes to implement and evaluate our strategic efforts.
    Highlight the key stakeholders and their roles & responsibilities within the different phases of the Strategic Planning Process.
    The strategic planning process is applicable to Project Leaders, Temple Presidents, Regional and National Secretaries, GBC Zonal Secretaries, GBC SPN Committees, all strategic planning work carried out by the GBC, and other leaders within ISKCON.

  • Background
    Strategic planning is a simple and spiritually powerful tool that can be used by those dedicated to realizing Srila Prabhupada’s mission and vision for ISKCON. By definition, strategic planning is the method by which an organization, spiritual or secular, defines how it will move into the future. Implied in the planning is the idea that the planners want the organization to have a future.
    All ISKCON devotees should be able to answer these three questions:

    • Who are we as a movement?
    • What is our mission?
    • Whom do we serve?

    Those engaged in strategic planning, however, must answer a fourth question: How can we excel at fulfilling our mission? Put another way, how can we structure our Krishna conscious plans so we will have the greatest impact on the world?
    For strategic planning in any organization to be successful, the organization’s leaders need to spend a significant amount of their current time in the future. That is, they must escape the demands of the day and devote time to working on a better future. In the business world, leaders spend as much as twenty percent (20%) of their annual time devoted to strategic planning.
    But writing a strategic plan for your project is only the first step. Strategic plans need to be reviewed, updated, and adjusted according to time and place. Working on a plan and then simply going home is a waste of everyone’s time.
    And a plan that isn’t executed is worthless. As project leaders, you must be willing to live the changes the strategic plan directs so that they can carry into your organization and take your project toward the future you have envisioned for it. You must also be prepared to encourage those working under you to do the same.

    There are a number of ways to come up with a viable strategic plan. We have created a detailed strategic planning process to assist our leaders referred to the “Strategic Planning Process Full Version” as well as a simplified version contained in the “Simple” tab of the website, an eight-step process we’ve found effective for any leader not yet accustom to strategic planning. However, it should be note that both versions of the strategic planning process have common foundation and traverses the contemplate, formulate, implement and evaluate phases. These are discussion in the elements of “Core Elements of the Strategic Planning Process”

    You can utilise either full or simple version of the strategic planning process as a foundation for carrying out your strategic planning journey. That been said it must be noted that these processes are merely a guide to assist you in your strategic planning journey and should you find other tools that will aid you in your strategic planning process incorporate them within these processes that we have recommended.

    Each of these steps of the process will be explained on following pages of the website, but first, a word about the language of strategic planning you may encounter on these pages.

    Sometimes devotees are concerned about the language we use to discuss strategic planning concepts. While it’s true these words tend to come from the world of business, that doesn’t mean they don’t have meaning in the spiritual realm. So we ask you to bear with us whenever we use the specialized lexicon that goes with strategic planning work, even if it requires that you learn a few key terms.

    Inevitably, any kind of specialized service devotees perform introduces new words into their vocabulary. Those devotees who work in publishing, for example, use industry jargon to discuss editing, printing, binding, file creation, color work, fonts, book blocks, trim sizes, and everything about paper. The publishing industry developed this lexicography in order to have precise definitions every publisher can understand. Similarly, devotees serving in education, with computers, finances, and quite a few other fields have had to adopt at least a handful of specialized words.

    So we will not be shying away from using a few management terms common to strategic planning groups in both the business and religious worlds. To help you understand these terms we have defined them in this document.

  • Core Elements of the Strategic Planning Process

    Core elements 5

    The strategic planning process consists the following four core elements:

    • Strategy Contemplation (translated as the Contemplate phase in the strategic planning process)
      • Contemplate also refers to Reflect, Think, Ponder or Mediate.
    • Strategy Formulation (translated as the Formulate phase in the strategic planning process)
      • Formulate also refers to Prepare, Invent, Create or Put Together.
    • Strategy Implementation or Execution (translated as the Implement phase in the strategic planning process)
      • Implement also refers to Execute, Effect or Put into action.
    • Strategy Evaluation (translated as Evaluate phase in the strategic planning process)
      • Evaluate also refers to Assess, Gauge, Appraise or Review.

  • Top View (LEVEL I) of the Strategic Planning Process

    Strategic Planning Full newThe overall strategic planning process is illustrated in Figure attached and in more detail in the “Expanded View” tab.

  • Expanded View (LEVEL II) of the Strategic Planning Process


    Expanded View (LEVEL II) of the Strategic Planning Process

    The expanded view of the Strategic Planning Process is illustrated in the process flow and provide more details of the overall process, which will be covered in much more detail together with templates on the following web pages.