In 2009, the Prince Albert Tourism & Marketing Bureau (PATMB) was formed to assume the responsibility for destination marketing and visitor services within the city of Prince Albert. The organization inherited a three-year community tourism development strategy titled “2010 and Beyond”. This strategy has not only run its course, but it was also found to be poorly suited as an organizational strategy as many of the objectives were beyond the scope and resources of the organization to fulfill.
I was invited by PATMB’s CEO Jayne Remenda to facilitate a one-day planning session this past week with her front-line staff and the organization’s board of directors to pull together some ideas and concerns that would form the basis of a new strategic plan for the organization. The planning session was structured as a simplified 4-step approach as follows:
- Establish the Goals of the organization. This is what the organization is setting out to achieve or the direction in which it would like to go.
- Collectively brainstorm the Actions or activities that the organization could undertake to achieve the goals. This included both what the organization is currently doing as well as what it might like to do more (or less) of in the future.
- Consider how to Measure the progress in achieving the goals. Focus is on identifying meaningful data that can be used to inform decision-making (i.e. allocating time/HR/budgets).
- Schedule a time to re-Evaluate the plan each year and adjust as underlying assumptions change.
The collective thoughts and ideas of the group were initially captured on flip-chart paper and then transferred and organized into a set of working notes. These in turn will be used to guide follow-up discussions as the strategy takes shape and operational plans are more fully developed.