One of the most essential elements of the strategic planning process in any given organization is the engagement of critical stakeholders in the underlying decision-making. According to Seiter (2012), the said engagement involves holding planning sessions to gather input and shape the strategic plan. Deciding on who to invite to the planning sessions and what type of information to be collected before the session commences are some of the crucial prerequisites to be considered by the leadership of the organization.
As the director of the halfway house who is engaged in the strategic planning process, I would invite representatives from three core groups within the organization to a planning session. The three groups would include professionals, paraprofessionals, and volunteers currently working in the employ of the halfway house (Bradberry & Greaves, 2012). It is important to invite the representatives of professionals such as managers and treatment personnel to the session because they are the group that fills central roles within the housing program. Additionally, the professionals are the mainstay of the educational/work experience and skills that are fundamental to all operations. Secondly, input from the paraprofessionals is also essential for a fruitful planning session since the paraprofessionals usually supplement the professional staff, particularly in specialized areas such as counseling. The paraprofessionals also provide links to community resources. Finally, volunteers such as members of the community and ex-offenders must be included in the planning session because they provide valuable additional resources to the halfway house including community ties, schooling, job entries, and success models.
Furthermore, before undertaking the session, I would prepare several sets of information on the operations, functionality, and the needs of every invited group, including how they cumulatively interact within the organization. For example, I would commission surveys and face-to-face interviews with employees in each of the three groups represented on several topics such as the successes, obstacles, failures, and potential improvements. Lastly, I would prepare for the key discussion points likely to be encountered during the planning session and which are expected to bear import on the development of the organization’s vision statement. Some of these key discussion points include the short-term and long-term projections regarding the future state of the halfway house; the employees’ expectations of the organization; and the position and role of the organization in the community at large.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2012). Leadership 2.0. San Diego, CA: TalentSmart.
Seiter, R. P. (2012). Correctional administration: Integrating theory and practice. Boston, MA: Prentice-Hall.
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