Strategic planning is defined as a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it (Bryson, 2004). The external environments or organizations are becoming more complex and increasingly uncertain as a result of various political, social, economic and technological changes. These dynamic environments compel public, private and third sector managers to identify priorities, focus scarce resources on those priorities, craft effective strategies and implement them successfully to ensure survival in the long term. Strategic management provides managers with a future perspective, an external focus, a fundamental problem-solving orientation and a set of practical tools.

 

The intent of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the approaches and methods used in strategic decision making and of the effective leadership of boards, staff, volunteers and clients in the process. It will acquaint students with the theoretical underpinnings of strategic planning and help them master some strategic planning techniques such as environmental scanning, stakeholder analysis, strategic issue identification and strategy formulation by providing an opportunity to create a strategic plan for a nonprofit agency. The course will also review the various facilitation styles used in organizations.