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The Role of Board Approval in the Strategic Planning Process

We recently received the following question from a registered attendee during our ACHE Cluster session, Strategic Planning from Formulation to Action, in San Antonio:

When you seek board approval of a strategic plan, what are they actually approving (the whole plan, organizational direction, goals, initiatives)?

Our firm advocates that the board play an active role in the strategic planning process.  Some of the board’s responsibilities include adopting a compelling long-term vision statement for the organization and formally approving the strategic plan.  Typically, it is the board’s responsibility to approve the organizational direction (mission, vision, overall strategy, values) and the strategy formulation (goals, major initiatives) components of the strategic plan.  It is management’s responsibility, on the other hand, to create and carry out an implementation plan, including one-year objectives and tactics.