Strategy 101: Ten Simple Planning Mistakes to Avoid January 7, 2013Posted by Dan R. Dick in Church Leadership, Strategic Planning.
Tags: Church Leadership, Mission & Purpose
This is an often-requested article I wrote over ten years ago. I reprint it here, hoping it still offers value to a new audience.
Musicians become true artists by first playing scales. Star athletes exercise daily and practice the same plays time and again so that they can respond in any given situation without thinking. Anyone who ever mastered a craft did so by first learning the basics. Unless you master the basics, you’re likely to make mistakes when it matters most.
Strategic planning is every bit as much art as science. What is true for athletes and musicians is true for leaders as well. If you don’t attend to the basics, you’re likely to make errors. Most strategic planning efforts in local congregations fail, not due to poor work or lack of knowledge or commitment, but due to simple mistakes. Here is a list of the top “don’ts” when planning for your congregation:
1. Don’t waste time being right.
2. Don’t assume concurrence.
3. Don’t gather paper. Instead, gather information from people.
4. Don’t hurry.
5. Don’t over-plan.
6. Don’t write mission and/or vision statements.
7. Don’t “publish” your plan.
8. Don’t generalize.
9. Don’t plan “for” other people.
10. Don’t be too serious.