July 15th, 2010

What’s Wrong with Strategic Planning? #cuvlog

In this vlog post I cover Chapter 2 of Church Unique, entitled The Fall of Strategic Planning. This is a sensitive subject because many consider me a strategic planning guy. I would say that I am and I am not. I am a strategic thinker  that presents a simpler method for planning.  Think strategic planning 2.0.  In this chapter I present the typical output of a strategic plan and three fallacies (see the table below) of the classic approach. Later in Church Unique I present the simpler planning method. By the way, I am shocked at how little has been written on this particular subject and how many churches insist on plodding along with dated, cumbersome methods.

3 Comments on to “What’s Wrong with Strategic Planning? #cuvlog”

  • Dennis Adams says:

    Henry Mintzberg wrote that strategic planning is not strategic thinking. In fact, strategic planning can spoil strategic thinking. It seems that many of our church leaders do very well at one or two things (e.g., preaching or teaching, small groups, discipleship, evangelism). Unfortunately, the skill that a great number of senior church leaders lack, and one that I would argue is absolutely essential for successful leaders, is one of “seeing systems,” seeing the big picture, strategic thinking. Without this ability, whether strategic planning is in vogue or not, it will not matter. Without system thinkers, the church will become a collection of occasionally cohesive ministries vying for resources. These churches will touch lives, will help those in need, but most likely will not have the kingdom impact they could have. Can our church staffs learn to be strategic thinkers? Sure. But that sort of change can be unsettling and requires support from the top, even if those people aren’t strategic thinkers. And that, quite often, is the problem to begin with.

  • Will Mancini says:

    Dennis- these are excellent thoughts. I too was influenced strongly by Mintzberg who was the only person to articulate what I was sensing but no one was saying in particular to church leaders.

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