Strategic Planning at Saint Francis de Sales Schools: Abstract
This case tracks the emergence of a formal strategic planning project in a school system (disguised for the purpose of confidentiality), following its evolution from its official inception in 2007 through to the point in mid-2009 at which it came, unfinished, to a complete standstill.
The decision to undertake the process emerged in a context of extreme financial volatility overlaid with significant opportunities and challenges related to the school’s future existence and strength. Stakeholders of the school system had grown accustomed to repeatedly “re‐hashing” issues deemed to be critically important, though many had agreed that significant change within the organization was necessary. The bases for decision making and the implications of alternative decisions seemed inconsistent and unclear for some. There was also disagreement among employees, members of the Board of Trustees, and even the parent body on some of these issues. The idea of a strategic plan was discussed and agreed upon by a group of members of the Board of Trustees. The process of plan development was ultimately launched with the goal of providing directional grounding for critical strategic choices to be made.
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