Today, I submitted my first draft of an outline of a Five Year ECA Strategic Plan to President Dave Weller of RCX. Dave will, as time allows him, review my draft and provide suggestions to how we will proceed, and very soon we will be acting on what is needed to design a “road map” for a vision and goals for the ECA in the next five years.
This is a great time for leadership and the ECA to “reset”. It takes deep thought and introspection to plot a course for such a venerable organization like the ECA. Given the impact on our much loved ECA Events due to Covid-19, we need to retool our thinking as to what is critical and how we move forward next year. If anybody does not believe we are effective, they should call me and I can describe how projects are getting pushed out as fast as possible, as well as how it is that our industry did not have to shut down. I do not take full or even partial credit for this, but I do think we have influenced folks as to the importance of doing infrastructure work and how critical that work is to a healthy local economy.
As we contemplate our strategic plan, we have to consider how to be relevant to members and make certain they understand, and realize, the benefits this organization provides them for their continued support.
The process is complex, and I feel it is important to advise you all as to how we are going to undertake this process so I hope you are interested.
Developing a Five Year Strategic Plan for the ECA
- “What we are”-a Mission Statement for an organization is a short description of why the organization exists-i.e. “who we are”.
Just for reference, our current Mission Statement is
“An organization supporting the local engineering construction industry through stewardship of the community and environment”.
- The “Vision Statement” of an organization explains what we want see resulting from our existence. The ECA has no current Vision Statement. As an example, if an organization adopts a Mission Statement that says, “We are an Association of Deer Hunters who legally hunt deer in California”. The Vision Statement might be “We advocate to ensure that only legal deer hunting is allowed and practiced in order to ensure a controlled and sustainable harvesting of Deer in California”. In other words, the Mission says who we are, and the Vision says what we wish the vision to be because of our existence.
- Once an organization decides on the Mission and the Vision, they should decide on what their “Core Values” are. In my “Deer Hunting” example above, some Core Values might be:
If “Collaboration” is one of the Deer Hunter’s Core Values, it might have a definition that says:
“We want the Deer Hunter Association to work with decision makers in support of a healthy, sustainable, and legal harvest of deer in California”.
Now to support that Core Value and its description, an organization should come up with some Goals that support that Core Value. A Goal needs to be actionable, measurable, and assigned to someone. As an example of one Goal for our Core Value of Collaboration in the Deer Hunter example, we might have this:
Goal #1-Be knowledgeable of issues, topics, policies that are going to impact deer hunting in California.
Once we have Goal #1, we need to define our tactics, our metrics, our timeline, and our person responsible for prosecuting that Goal. In our Deer Hunter example, we might have as our “Tactics for Goal #1-
Tactic 1.1 Identify, define, and gather current rules and regulations regarding licensed deer hunting in California.
Tactic 1.2 Reach out to other organizations that mutually support objectives that are important to the Deer Hunter Association
Tactic 1.3 Network with elected and government representatives to be aware of upcoming legislation affecting deer hunting in California.
Each of those “tactics” above would be followed by a description of how to measure progress and apply a timeline for action along with identifying a responsible person identified that will prosecute the action.
With the ECA facing the turnover of our three key employees in the next few years-the Executive Vice President (Me), our Events Coordinator and Member Services Manager (Mary), and our Bookkeeper (Cheryl), it is critical that we develop and implement a blueprint for our existence with those replacements in mind. No longer can we just assume John and Mary will get it done.
It is time for a five-year strategic plan. Hats off to Dave Weller and this year’s Officers and Board of Directors for their Leadership in stepping up to accomplish this much needed process.
That’s All Folks