During the growth phase, a council puts in place all the essential supports it will need to successfully take action. Strategic plans can be developed once the following are in place:
- decision-making process
- affirmed purpose
- internal communication support systems
- community priorities
Why create a strategic plan?
When they reflect the desires and aims of council members, strategic plans:
- Keep everyone on the same page with where the council is headed
- Allow for greater coordination of effort across committees
- Maximize limited resources (time and money)
- Provide focus to move from to action
What does a strategic plan look like?
An effective strategic planning effort:
- Suggests how critical functions of the council might address community priorities
- Spells out organizational capacity building for the council as an entity
- Aligns resources with critical council functions
- Defines goals based on community priorities and council development needs
- Establishes measures of success for each goal
- Identifies activities to address each goal
- Establishes measures of success for each activity
- Measures and celebrates what has been learned as well as positive changes
What else should you consider?
A strategic plan for a food council is NOT the same thing as a food system action plan for a community, although they are related.
- A food council might be created as part of a food systems action plan.
- A food council might convene the community to create a food systems action plan.