Strategic Plan Basics

Strategic Planning Tips

To accomplish anything great—completing college, moving across country, baking a delicious pie from scratch—you need a plan.  A strategic plan helps you brainstorm what a business can accomplish and narrows down exactly where to target your energy. In the unpredictable world of working in behavioral health, a solid strategic plan is essential for success.

So, how should a mental health organization approach strategic planning? Brown Consulting, Ltd. has been working with behavioral health providers co-creating strategic plans for nearly 30 years. Here are our top tips:

  1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses

This is more difficult than it seems. It is important to truly understand the inside and outside perceptions of your organization. This step additionally involves researching the environment surrounding your business, as well as the current marketplace. Also, it’s important at this stage to thoroughly evaluate your budget.

  1. Specify what you want to achieve

Narrow down your most important goals. How do you want your organization to function over the next 1, 3, & 5 years? What is your current mission? How do you see this mission evolving over time? Then, brainstorm steps to achieve those goals. Identify which goals are priority and where you choose to focus your energy first.

  1. Assign tasks to experts who will ensure goals are achieved

Putting the right people in the right places is an old business adage that still rings true. Similarly, this is the time to define who in your business is taking the reins with each goal in your plan. Discuss strategies, budgets and create an action plan for all steps leading to goal attainment.

  1. Make your Strategic Plan a working document

Your plan is complete—or is it? Reviewing your plan regularly and often keeps your direction true. Take time to review the process of your plan. It is a strength to think of your strategic plan as a living document that is flexible to change, and therefore innovation.

A strategic plan is a necessary tool to help an organization thrive. We at Brown Consulting, Ltd. are behavioral health experts dedicated to helping behavioral health organizations succeed. Our strategic planning services assist our clients in identifying, planning, developing, implementing and monitoring strategic initiatives for future and continued success. The length of our strategic planning process typically lasts from three to six months.

The Initial Phase of the strategic planning process includes a full review of the industry trends (national, state and local), an organizational and operational analysis which includes evaluation of programs, product line, promotional/marketing and revenue sources so organizations can guide their strategic decision-making processes. Additionally, a market and competitive analysis is completed. Finally, strategic planning groups are conducted with various levels of the organization including Board Members, Executive Leadership, Management and Staff.

Best of luck and happy planning!


-Megan Phillips, M.A.


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