Is a Strategic plan a Strategic priority? Ask the Football Association of Ireland
The Football Association of Ireland recently announced that they would be committing 100,000 Euros for clubs to create a strategic plan to help with their organizational development.
As a support organization the FAI has to make strategic decisions as to how they can have the greatest impact on accomplishing their mission and visions.
Here are their mission and vision statements:
Vision Statement: To enable every Irish person to participate in our game, to allow all involved in the game to reach their full potential, whatever level that might be, and to inspire the nation through international success at the highest level.
Mission Statement To promote, foster and develop the game of Association Football in Ireland
In line with their strategic direction, they dedicated approximately 5000 Euros per club for the creation of their individual strategic plans to support their own objectives.
However, just because the leadership creates a strategic plan or strategic priorities does not mean that it's going to have buy-in from day 1.
Case in point, one former soccer manager said that 5000 Euros was a pittance and that the money would be better spent on upgrading stadiums etc.
What I find interesting is that the FAI is looking at ways to create the biggest bang for their buck, and in their minds, teaching their clubs how to fish instead of giving them a fish is how they feel they will accomplish their mission.
Brian Kerr, the manager in question, thinks the money would be better spent in creating a specific position to help run the league or to spend money directly improving the facilities.
While the investment in teaching their clubs how to be more effective (through strategic planning) might not be as physically obvious as repairs to facilities, I think that it's a great investment to teach these organizations on how to be self sufficient and successful in the medium and long term.
In your organization you'll have to make strategic choices that might not be popular will all your managers.
Getting buy-in and consensus is the ideal scenario, but sometimes it's just not possible.
You need to go with what you and your team think are the best initiatives to help move the organization forward, and execute on the plans fully so the benefits come to fruition.
Want a best practice? - Make sure you pick the right measurements for your strategic plan.