strategic planning BY MICHAEL KULICH, PRESIDENT OF TURTLE CREEK HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
Moving from Social Club to Game Changer: Why Every Association Needs a Strategic Plan
I’m sure a fair amount of people read the title to this article and thought, “Why would a community association need a strategic plan – isn’t that for large corporations?” The fact is, most successful businesses have some form of strategic planning in place. A strategic plan serves as the roadmap to drive the overall direction of the business, initiatives to focus on and where to place resources to achieve a common set of aligned goals. A community association is a business and to deliver the value expected by homeowners, a strategic plan is critical for focus and transparency of where assessment dollars are going. The time of running a board meeting over a cup of coffee at your local Perkins is over – it’s time to ensure your community association runs like a business and has a plan in place to deliver value to all homeowners.
WHAT IS STRATEGIC PLANNING? Strategic planning is an organizational process used to set priorities, align investments and resources, establish holistic organizational goals, establish consensus on goals, assess the current business and adjust the direction in response to a changing environment. For a community association, strategic planning will provide clarity around the vision and mission of the community. While there are
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monthly financial reports and reserve studies, the strategic plan looks to provide a more defined path forward for a community set over a period of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. The focus on the strategic plan is daily operations and more about the honest assessment of key questions for the community to contemplate like:
• What is your community’s brand and brand placement within the local community?
• What type of home buyers would you like to attract to your community?
• What are the cultures living in your community and how can you address their needs? • What are the expectations of homeowners for the community and the association? • How should community amenities and infrastructure evolve to support the changing needs of the homeowners while maintaining the brand image to keep relevance in the overall community? The association board needs to understand these items if it wants to deliver value to members while keeping the community feeling