My teammates and I were given to work on the value of strategic planning. Initially, I noticed some of us expressing a complete dislike of the topic and thought it was a difficult one. Little did we know, the process of working on the topic and what we learned from it turned out to be a blessing to us all, unlike what we first thought. Most importantly, our team was able to achieve our set goals and learned a lot from the assignment. The process involved several activities required for the realization of the seminar. When working in a team, good collaboration is a key element to reaching the desired outcome, which is what we tried to do. It is also vital that each member should commit to doing his or her part of work.
Team collaboration and contribution
From the moment the assignment was announced and that groups were made, we had our first face-to-face meeting, which was followed by more contacts via emails. We also set up a WhatsApp group chat and had three more face-to-face meetings before the seminar, including one before the presentation itself.
It was a great pleasure for me to be part of the team and to work on the topic that we initially didn't like, but turned out to be a blessing. As we worked, each member showed appreciation for everyone's contribution to the preparation of the seminar. As we continued to work together, it seemed to me that some people lacked humility in the way they collaborated in the team. At first, I thought there was a lack of unity in the group, but we quickly resolved the issue and included everyone in the group decisionmaking process.Some tensions arose during some of the discussions we had as we prepared the seminar, but numerous efforts were made not to allow conflict or enmity within the team.
Strengths and weaknesses of the team
The team was composed of very knowledgeable people with a diversity of backgrounds. Everyone worked for the success of the team by offering support and guidance where it was needed.
However, one problem I experienced during this process was that the team's workload was not fairly distributed. My impression was that I had to do a lot of work and some did little. This frustrated and also worried me because I thought we would get less marks because of that. Although I did not complain to avoid confrontations, it negatively impacted me. But, I continued to work harder so that everyone could benefit from it.
What I have learned?
I learned what strategic planning is and how it differs from the traditional business planning. A lot of importance was given to the value of strategic planning within a secular world, the church, the Bible with some theological perspective.
For me, the most significant finding was that, in the secular world, strategic planning process first started with Goodstein et al. (1993, 119-139). They suggested a nine-stage sequential process, which, although initially designed for the corporate world, it has had significant impact in the Christian world. I felt delighted after finding about those who first wrote about 'strategic planning' and how their work changed the business world we know toady.
Subsequently, I also learned how strategic planning helps organisations become proactive in how they address the unexpected or the unpleasant situations. Instead of waiting for problems to arise and think of solutions to them, organisations can anticipate and have contingency plans before implementing their strategic plan. Hence, it helps organisations move from being reactive to being pro-active.
In the Christian context, it all started with the first work on strategic planning in a Christian perspective by Malphurs (2005, 53-284). Like for the secular world, he suggests a nine-step strategic model to help churches develop and implement a modern day church strategy for the benefit of God's Kingdom.
As done by many organisations in the secular world, churches also adopted a similar approach to strategic planning that suits their needs in this ever-changing world. One may ask, if this concept is even Biblical? Should the church be adopting such strategic approach? The answer is that, yes, the church can use this concept. However, it is important that the way churches implement strategic planning should not be incompatible with Scriptures and God's mission and commission for his people.
Through this assignment, I have significantly developed my skills in working with others and improve as a person. During the seminar, we used a polling tool to interactively and effectively engage with the class. I did my best to work hard and produce quality work for the seminar.
Goodstein, L., Nolan, T., & Pfeifer, J.W. (1993). Applied strategic planning: How to develop a plan that really works. NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Goodstein, L., Nolan, T., & Pfeifer, J.W. (2008). Applied Strategic Planning: An Introduction, 2nd Edition. NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Hackley, Jeffrey, "A Strategic Plan to Develop a Healthy Church" (2016). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. Available at: https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/doctoral/1277
Irving, J., and Strauss, M., 2019. Leadership in Christian Perspective: Biblical Foundations and Contemporary Practices for Servant Leaders. Grand Rapids: Baker.
Lawrence, J., (2004) Growing Leaders. Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship.
Malphurs, A. (1999) Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders. Grand Rapids: Baker Books
Malphurs, A. (2005) Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Books
Michel, D. (2005) 'Insight into Strategic Foresight: A Biblical Perspective" Leadership Advance' Online IV. Available at: https://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/lao/current_issue/insight_strategic_f oresight_michel.htm (Accessed 15 October 2019).
Paul Yelder, 1999, 'The Enterprise Foundation.' Available at: http://my2.ewb.ca/site_media/static/library/files/403/the-enterprise-foundationeffective-strategic-planning.pdf
Peters, Tom. (1987) Thriving on chaos. New York: Harper & Row
Robinson, Alan. (2001) Strategic planning for health and growth. Asbury Theological seminary United Nations, 2010, 'Strategic planning Basics for Managers.' Available at: https://hr.un.org/sites/hr.un.org/files/18.104.22.168_Strategic Planning Guide_0.pdf
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