Initiating Strategic Planning Processes and Clarity of Mission Statements

Subject: Strategic Management
Pages: 5
Words: 743
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: PhD


This paper discusses issues that are often related to the initiation of strategic planning processes and the clarity of mission statements. In the process, it discusses three guidelines that are used during strategic planning initiatives.

A Brief Description of Clayton County Library System

Clayton County Library System is one of the public libraries found in Jonesboro, Georgia (Clayton County Library System, n.d). The library was established with a mission of providing learning and research services to the members of the local community (Clayton County Library System, n.d). The library has six main branches, which are located in different areas within the community it serves (Clayton County Library System, n.d).

The most Critical Process Guidelines for Obtaining an Initial Agreement

Obtaining an initial agreement is very important in terms of having successful strategic planning and implementation processes (Bryson, 2011; Simerson, 2011). An achieved initial agreement is key to the progress of a planning initiative. In this case, the first guideline that is most critical to obtaining initial agreement in Clayton County Library System is the process of initiating and championing a strategic planning initiative (Bryson, 2011; Jackson, 2007).

It is argued that a strategic planning process can only commence after courageous and committed individuals make decisions about the need for a strategic plan. In many cases, the leaders of an organization are the ones who always initiate and champion the process of strategic planning (Pakroo, 2013; Bryston, 2011).

The second process guideline is gaining sponsorship from an individual or a group of people to give legitimacy to a strategic planning initiative (Bryson, 2011; Light, 2011). It is noted that sponsoring a strategic planning process is quite different from championing it: sponsoring renders the process legitimate, while championing it, notably, plays the role of providing the energy and drive to undertake the process up to the end (Bryson, 2011; Light, 2011).

The last process guideline is the formation of a strategic planning coordination committee. The importance of such a committee is often determined by the size of an organization that undertakes its strategic planning processes (Cornforth & Brown, 2013; May 2010). The need for the process is also decided based on the number of stakeholders who are involved in the planning process (Cornforth & Brown, 2013; May 2010).

The Reasons Explaining the Preference for the Chosen Process Guidelines

Concerning the first process guideline, the initiation and championing processes are the very origins of a strategic planning initiative (Bryson, 2011).

Besides, gaining sponsorship for an initiated strategic planning process is very crucial to legitimizing it (Bryson, 2011). When the process is legitimate, the rest of the stakeholders are often likely to support and consequently rally behind it to the end (Bryson, 2011).

For the last process guideline, a strategic planning coordination committee is to ensure that there is an efficient flow of communication among all stakeholders who are involved in the planning process (Bryson, 2011). It also ensures that all contributions from stakeholders are harmonized together to ensure a smooth flow during strategic planning (Bryson, 2011).

How to Address the Chosen Process Guidelines

Concerning the first process guideline, I would ensure that every relevant stakeholder associated with Clayton County Library System would be free to come up with any need for a strategic planning process. If a stakeholder initiates such a need, and a substantial number of other stakeholders decided to champion the process, I would then help in seeking the legitimacy of the initiated strategic planning process by contacting the Chief Executive Officer and other board members of the library to try and get their sponsorship for the initiative. Once a legitimating sponsorship is obtained, I would then help with the formation of a strategic planning coordination committee, which would be representative of members from all departments of the library.

Ethical Considerations

During the strategic planning process, it is always important to ensure that value is emphasized. In this case, I would ensure that values become key components of the strategic planning process (Woodsworth, 2010; McVea & Freeman, 2005). In addition, I would ensure that the planning process would be based on democratic principles and transparency (Woodsworth, 2010; McVea & Freeman, 2005).


The three critical strategic planning process guidelines that are the most appropriate for obtaining an initial agreement in the context of the Clayton County Library System include initiating and championing the process, seeking the sponsorship of the top management for legitimacy, and forming a representative strategic planning coordination committee (Bryson, 2011).


Bryson, J. M. (2011). Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement. Winchester, Hampshire: John Wiley & Sons.

Clayton County Library System. (n.d). Web.

Cornforth, C., & Brown, W. (2013). Nonprofit Governance: Innovative Perspectives and Approaches. New York, NY: Routledge.

Jackson, P. (2007). Nonprofit Strategic Planning: Leveraging Sarbanes-Oxley Best Practices. Winchester, Hampshire: John Wiley & Sons.

Light, M. (2011). Results Now for Nonprofits: Purpose, Strategy, Operations, and Governance. Winchester, Hampshire: John Wiley & Sons.

May, G. (2010). Strategic Planning: Fundamentals for Small Business. New York, NY: Business Expert Press.

Mcvea, J. F., & Freeman, R. E. (2005). A Name-and-Faces Approach to Stakeholders Management: How Focusing on Stakeholders as Individuals Can Bring Ethics and Entrepreneurial Strategy Together. Journal of Management Inquiry, 14(1), 58-67.

Pakroo, P. (2013). Starting & Building a Nonprofit: A Practical Guide. California, CA: Nolo.

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Woodsworth, A. (2010). Exploring the Digital Frontier. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.