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  • Melinda Steffy

Strategic Planning Stage 2: Where are we going?

Once we have a thorough understanding of your organization’s current landscape, we help you establish shared direction and create tools for real-time decision-making. We believe it is essential for the board and staff to collaborate during Stage 2 to ensure the entire organization aligns around a clear vision and strategic direction.


Stage 2: The North Star

We establish shared direction and create tools for ongoing decision-making.


Through a full-day retreat and/or in-depth workshops, we engage in collaborative activities to articulate the core values behind your work; develop an organizational identity statement (who, what, where, why, how); and analyze competitive advantages and future trends. Depending on the needs of your organization, we can also incorporate a deeper dive into areas like key messaging (mission statement, etc.), DEI, governance, business model, and more.


Board and staff create a Big Question, the “North Star,” that guides all decision-making and is the heart of the entire plan. Rather than a statement “our vision is X” or “our need is Y”, the question gives forward momentum: “how can we achieve X/Y?” There’s no single answer or path, so everyone can work to answer the Big Question within their roles, within the real-time activities of your organization, as new opportunities or challenges come up.


The Big Question harnesses shared vision and empowers the whole team to think strategically as individuals and as a group. You may not reach a North Star, but by continually seeking to answer the Big Question, you will find yourself heading in the right direction.


As we enter Stage 3: Road Map, we define a Strategy Screen with criteria for strategy development and tools to make strategy-aligned decisions in the planning process and beyond.


“What you pay attention to grows.” —adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy

photo of the night sky full of stars and the milky way
Your North Star establishes shared direction, with tools for ongoing decision-making.

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