Every so often, it makes sense for an organization to take a step back and assess where it is, as well as where it wants to go. Businesses do it more often; organizations such as ours less so. During the recent Vestry Retreat, we decided it was time for us to revisit the longrange plan for St. Elisabeth’s.
The process follows several important steps that will take most of 2013 to complete, including:
- Articulating a central purpose, or Mission – what are we all about
- Developing a fact base of our church and surroundings, including our history, our demographics, the messages we send internally and externally, our economics and the like
- Establishing our core values that are central to how we behave and to what we aspire
- Creating a defining goal which represents what we want to look like several years out
- Rolling all of this into a cohesive strategy, which contains 3-5 actions (or planks) on which we will focus that will bring our Mission, values and goals to life. This will include tactics, measures and owners for each of those planks, as well as suggestions of how to invest our resources.
A very important component of items 2 and 5 is the communications audit/plan. Jim Newcomb will lead us through this portion, first establishing a baseline of how we communicate today (both intentionally and unintentionally), and then creating a plan for how we will communicate in the future. This future plan will be influenced both by our history and our future aspirations. It will be a coordinated approach to how we keep in touch with each other, and how we broadcast to the outside world. This is the first time we have conducted something like this, and we appreciate Jim’s willingness to lead us through this portion.
There are several reasons to undertake this right now:
- This will allow us to be very clear about what we stand for, and what we don’t
- Our direction will be spelled out clearly, increasing the likelihood that everyone will get on board
- Knowing what we stand for will give us more confidence to say no to certain opportunities that don’t fit with our direction
- These choices will, in turn, make us better at allocating our time and treasure to what fits and will have the greatest impact
The Vestry, Elizabeth and Daphne (upon her return) will conduct most of this work, reaching out to some of you along the way as needed. If you would like to join this leadership group, please let one of the Wardens know.
When this is finished, it may not feel very different at the core than the direction we are currently pursuing – after all, the CAT told us that we are surprisingly likeminded, open to change and not conflict ridden. But it will make certain that our choices are intentional and not by default, and that those choices, rooted in our history, will take us where we want to be in the future. Hold on – it will be quite a ride!
Tom Flocco & Kay Rossiter