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  • Crystal Justice

Strategic Planning 101

From the Military to Economic Development

Strategic planning originates from the military, during wartime the General of the Army will align his resources to attack the weakest link of the enemy. This is how the war is won! In the world of business we can take this strategy and apply it to every organization to target trouble areas, improve efficiency or reach future goals.

The strategic planning technique can also be used in your community to attack your most pressing concerns. As you can imagine--most communities have more issues to address then they have resources. So how do you align your limited resources to the address the most critical problems in your community? I am glad you asked!

Recently, the City of Red Boiling Springs, TN completed a Strategic Economic Development Plan--this process ensures that all stakeholders have a voice about how the community's resources are utilized and helps build a shared vision for the community. With the prioritized strategic plan in place City Council now has a clear understanding of the citizens expectations. In addition, the plan will act as a guide for budgeting, resource allocation and future growth strategies. The steps of the strategic planning process are illustrated in the flow chart below. To review Red Boiling Springs' complete plan, please, visit:

Source: A Strategic Approach to Economic Development

From the military to economic development, strategic planning is a powerful tool. In small communities where resources are often limited and the issues are many--an economic development plan can get everyone on the same page, create a shared vision, and ensure all community resources are allocated to meet the needs of the community. That's how we win the "resource war" in economic development!

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