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Strategic Planning



Norm Spitzig, MCM

Question:   How would you define strategic planning in the private club environment?

Response:   Simply stated, strategic planning is the process of determining where an organization is going, how it will get there and how it will know if it has succeeded. A strategic plan goes beyond a list of planned programs and tasks. A plan becomes "strategic" when it identifies outcomes the organization is working toward, and then, based on an assessment of the organization’s operating environment, the community where it is located and its own abilities and resources, selects the best possible approaches for achieving those outcomes. A strategic plan also addresses the implication of choices – for personnel, funding and advancing the overall mission – and it identifies a process for evaluating results. A private club strategic plan itself can serve as a tool to support conversations with current members as well as a marketing tool for attracting new members.

Yet, as we all know, the very term “strategic planning” makes some people wince! They have images of (or past experience with) months of rigid process, extra work, endless meetings and retreats, flip charts and magic markers, drafts and redrafts – all to produce a binder bound document that collects dust until the next time someone says: “I think we need to do some strategic planning."

That's not Norm Spitzig! I make the strategic planning process focused, customized, enjoyable, and actionable. My "specific deliverables" - a timely and well-crafted document capturing the Mission, Vision, Values, Goals, and Strategies developed and agreed upon by the Strategic Planning Committee - are, I believe, second to none.

Finally, the strategic planning process itself, when combined with the endorsement of the plan as a living document by a club's Board, will be critically important to informing, guiding and directing the actions of current and future Boards of Directors. In short, a strategic plan will serve as a vital touchstone for all Board decisions, strategic and tactical, over an extended period of time.

Question:   What is Norm Spitzig's approach to developing a strategic plan?

Response:   A private club's strategic plan will be developed by addressing, in a thoughtful and articulate manner (and sometimes, but not necessarily, using member-at-large focus groups and/or member surveys), the following issues:

1.)    Vision: What does the club need to be, ideally, in the coming 5-10 years?

2.)    Values: What set of core guiding principles that, if followed over time, will produce a community of members who are active, vibrant and socially compatible?

3.)    Mission: What is the fundamental purpose of the club?

4.)    Assessment: What are the club's strengths and weaknesses? What are the key opportunities, critical success factors and external threats?

5.)    Goals: What outcomes or results with the club work toward in order to successfully carry out its mission? How should these goals be prioritized?

6.)    Strategies: What general approaches and methods will a club use to achieve each goal? What are the risks involved? How can a club manage or mitigate them?

For additional information contact Norm at or 352-735-5693