Training for the Road Map processTweet
Nine teams of volunteers comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members and administrators will meet weekly during the fall semester to develop aspirational visions and proposals for initiatives, innovations and ideas (3-Is) that will drive the University’s budget process. Sponsors and co-chairs will lead the following teams: Advancing Learning, Community Engagement, Creative Activities and Research, Diversity and Inclusiveness, Global Engagement, Infrastructure, Philanthrophy, Rankings and Reputation, and Student Success.
At a training on Aug. 31, sponsors and co-chairs were versed in the process teams will follow to fulfill their charges, with assistance from School of Management Dean Upinder Dhillon, Professor Tom Kelly and Associate Professor Kim Jaussi.
After President Harvey Stenger reviewed what outcomes he expects from the Road Map process — proposals for the 3-Is — Kelly reviewed what a strategic plan really is. “The mission is simply what we do, our vision is how we see our University in the future and our values will drive us along our strategic path, inspiring and anchoring us,” he said. “The 3-Is will become our goals and human fulfillment will take place when people pursue goals they deem worthy. So think big and think about goals that can be transformative for us and that have an element of realizability.”
Jaussi worked with the sponsors and co-chairs on creative visioning, asking them to draw a picture of what their team’s vision will look like in five years. The Diversity and Inclusiveness sponsors and co-chairs drew a crystal staircase with lots of people and action and a lot of buzz that will draw people to it and is strong. The Rankings and Reputation team drew a very intricate and forward-looking building that Jaussi referred to as a “Jetson’s” building.
Every team should be able to come up with some sort of symbol to represent its vision, Jaussi said, and as teams discuss their vision and draft their 3-Is, they should keep thinking about “what it will look like” to help them make effective decisions.
“In order for vision to be effective,” she said, “you have to have pictures that must be concrete so you’re totally engaged and feel what it feels like. Your job as strategic leaders is to push your teams to get down to this level. We practice so it becomes part of our DNA, and we live it.”
Turning from visioning to the practical, Dhillon dealt with the nuts and bolts of a strategic plan. “It starts with the vision/mission of five and 20 years, goals (3-Is) and objectives (activities for accomplishing goals),” he said. “Then there must be measurement (metrics), monitoring and review — and part of that is communicating — and finally you have a complete plan.
“Don’t put limitations on your process right away, such as ‘there’s not enough money,’” he cautioned. After a vision is finalized and embraced, “who will get us there and every decision we make will be permeated by ‘will this get us there?’ and lo and behold, you’re there, with no further mention of limitations. You make everything happen.”
Dhillon reminded the sponsors and co-chairs that their teams would need to rank the 3-Is they put forth, suggesting a SWOT analysis as a tool in their toolkit to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. “Do this for each proposal to rank them before moving forward,” he said. Kelly added that teams can also use the SWOT analysis to come up with ideas in the first place, then again to analyze, and Jaussi noted that any team SWOT analysis would have to be layered with the University’s.
The training concluded with the following note: Strategic planning is an ongoing process by which an organization is led dynamically toward attaining its major goals, accomplishing its mission and achieving a vision that it can become.
For more information on the Road Map process, including teams and their memberships, visit http://www2.binghamton.edu/president/road-map/index.html.