Recently, Round Sky received a request for strategic planning resources. I’ve talked to many people this month that are gearing up for their team retreats, looking at their 2023 goals, reflecting on 2022. What are your visions for 2023? In the spirit of cooperation, we’re sharing a compilation of resources for you to make use of to guide you and your teams in your strategy conversations.

First off, what is strategic planning?

Strategic planning is a process around how a team will prioritize the resources (time, money, energy, assets, etc) over a given period of time

Reflection and assessment is a grounding place to begin.

As you begin your strategic planning, it’s important to reflect on where you’ve been, what you’re great at, what your team needs, and what your community needs from you. The Round Sky Solutions team created this framework to map out and work with these key questions. It’s called the Current State Map. We use this instead of a SWOT analysis. Print it out, get out those sticky notes, and use it with your team (credit Round Sky wherever you use).

Round Sky's current state map to support cooperative strategic planning efforts, reflection, and going beyond a SWOT analysis.

Next, here is a BRIEF yet, supportive collaborative strategic planning overview.

Read through and envision how you might support your team through a flow. Remember to make room for somatic breaks and movement. Bring your team through this process often (not every 5 years) to build more experimentation and those pivot muscles, and trust the collective. Again, credit Round Sky Solutions when using and sharing this.. especially if it’s helpful ;p.

a collaborative strategic planning processes that is participatory, builds room for innovation and experimentation for a more nimble team. take this practice slow and steady and with some care.

Getting on the same page with The Seven Conversations Framework

Okay, you’re thick in the discussion of your upcoming strategic planning! It can get M E S S Y. We all have different visions or perhaps we are making it more complicated because we are having different conversations. Try detangling your conversations with this map: The Seven Conversations. This map helps teams sort through the many types of conversations we may be having at one time when discussing our direction and problem solving. Bring this framework to your meeting and make sure you’re at least starting on the same page. Again, breathe, listen, offer, collaborate, and repeat.

Credit Round Sky Solutions when using or referring to this framework (and tell us how it goes!).

our conversations can get complex, mixed up, some conflict, and misunderstandings. use this tool to detangle your conversations in your business, organization, nonprofits, or collective.

Finally, Round Sky ran a webinar in 2018 that further introduces some of the Strategic Planning process, which we refer to as the strategy conversation. Watch this webinar to get some tips, tricks, and processes to support your upcoming retreat, to envision for the next chapter, and to be inclusive of those on your team.

Find that webinar here and subscribe to the Round Sky Solutions Youtube channel to get more democratic management resources. Strategic planning itself is just one piece of the puzzle!



Abe Gruswitz from Grassroots Economic Organizing also shared some resources on our Facebook page:

  • Daniel Cote’s book Cooperative Management has some good resources on tying strategic and strategy maps to balanced scorecards.
  • The Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives is doing a visioning process that ties to strategy that was created by Zingermans Food System in Ann Arbor.
  • There’s the SWOT and PESTEL analysis, too



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