July 11 2017
The recent edition of the Chronicle of Higher Educations's “Presidents Share What Works” surfaces several themes, which we see daily in our strategic planning work—e.g., faculty involvement, transparency, new ideas—but what caught our eye was one of the subtler themes and its implications: strategic planning as an iterative process.
Iteration is the progression toward a closer-to-perfect outcome. It brings with it the necessity of time (as evolution requires), the wiliness to trust others (nothing iterates in a vacuum), and the belief that improvement brings results (iteration is optimistic). These principles surface in the article and play out in the best planning processes.
Strategic planning, after all, is an evolution; more than a single retreat, it is a continual process that requires commitment and collaboration. In the Chronicle, the presidents talk about how buy-in is important (not surprising) but note how they achieve this aim: through an investment of time in actual conversations, inclusive processes, and successive wins, i.e., an iterative process that celebrates involvement and alters the outcome as it goes.
Iteration does not occur in isolation; it feeds on connection. Strategic planning within an institution is not about seeking out and establishing “strategic” relationships to advance insular goals, but fostering real relationships, where the fullness of the community is solicited, valued, and honored. (The realness of these relationships gives them their strategic value, not the other way around.) Lastly, iteration pulls us towards our strengths.
While we at Credo seek to be a catalyst to institutional partners, we know that catalytic reactions only occur with whatever ingredients are already present. Without using the word “authentic,” the authors highlight the power of elevating what is already successful on a campus—take what is strong, honor it, and, in the language of President Cauce, “amplify” it.
These three processes of evolution, inclusion, and elevation are keys to planning and, indeed, to institutional success. The best strategic plans after all do not end with a period (.) but with a blinking cursor, always inviting the next iteration.
Find out how the Credo strategic planning process builds on existing momentum on your campus and creates inclusive, iterative change by visiting our Strategic Planning and Implementation page.
Related Blog Posts
FAFSA Strategy To Support Student Success
February 19 2024
Delays in the release of the FAFSA and the distribution of information necessary for financial aid awarding are a hot topic across higher education currently. Concerns about how this will impact...
3 Steps To Building A “Triple Threat” Intercollegiate Athletics Program
January 5 2024
By Travis Feezell, Ed.D. It can be said that athletics are the “front porch” of the university: a visible expression of institutional excellence so unlike what happens in the classrooms or labs or...
- Radical Self-Care For Higher Education Leaders February 21 2024
- FAFSA Strategy To Support Student Success February 19 2024
- ACA & Credo Launch National Rural Higher Education Leadership Development Partnership February 14 2024
- 2024 Black History Month Resources For Continued Learning January 31 2024
- Leading With Hope: Celebrating Leadership In Higher Education January 29 2024
- Student Success
- Student Success & Retention
- Strategic Planning
- Leadership Development
- Strategic Enrollment
- Campus Planning and Architecture
- Moving the Needle
- Campus Master Planning
- Enrollment & Financial Aid
- Academic Programming
- Campus Planning
- Admitted Student Research