“Integrated strategic planning” is a much more collaborative process in its development and execution than the practice of the executive team and/or a consultant simply drafting a plan with the expectation that it will be implemented by others. In this article, the author recounts her unique experience in going through the strategic planning process twice in the same stressful environment of an educational institution beset by financial, cultural, and accreditation challenges. The first plan was unsuccessful because it did little to engage institutional stakeholders as the board and administration did what they separately believed was best. It was drafted by the author in her capacity as an outside consultant and according to the instructions of the then executive team. On the second occasion, the prior president had been replaced by the author. As the new leader of the institution, the author used an integrated planning process. The result was a more meaningful plan as the stakeholders worked together and held each other accountable in its development and execution, leading to a turnaround that saved the school and surprised the community.
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