Strategic Planning

Three initial decisions that need to be made by an organization’s leadership are (1) What is the desired framework and areas of focus that the plan should address—what are the “pillars” or key content areas, (2) How much detail should be included—goals, strategies, tactics, action items, etc., and (3) Whose “voice” needs to be reflected in the plan and how is that voice heard—what process should be used to engage key stakeholders.  We bring a strong bias to engaging key stakeholders at critical points in the planning process, ranging from staff, community partners, vendors, and the variety of “customers” that your organization serves.

A discussion among the organization’s leaders on these topics is a common way to begin the planning process.  We help by facilitating this initial discussion and then work with you to plan and execute discussions that create the desired elements of your strategic plan.  Whether it is one “page at a glance” or a detailed document that articulates specific actions, we are committed to helping you create a plan that you will find user-friendly and enables your board to make clear decisions.


Drew brought a great deal of experience and expertise to our school district strategic planning process. His unique approach to create a process that best fit our local needs brought authenticity, autonomy, and ownership into the final strategic plan outcomes. Drew does not bring a "canned" facilitation approach to this strategic process. Rather, he curtails the process and designs a specific agenda for each phase of strategic plan development that fit our local needs but does so in a manner that is guided by his career experience. He brainstorms meeting agenda options and provides recommendations while also listening to local interests and desires for how to best gather stakeholder input to create a meaningful and productive final product.

Drew knows how to create agendas and facilitate meetings in a highly professional and collaborative process. At Drew's suggestion, our process included an initial planning session between he, I, and our Board President. We then gathered a small advisory committee of various stakeholders to form an agenda for a large scale community summit which ultimately included seventy-five participants. Other follow-up sessions followed and within a few short months our district developed a strategic vision for the next five years-to include broad goals and specific action strategies.

Jamie Benson
Superintendent, School District of River Fall

In the Spring of 2016, the Wautoma Area School District Leadership Team worked with Drew Howick on holding Community Conversations to drive the development of our ten year strategic plan - The Wautoma Area School District FOCUS 2025 Plan.  Drew used his knowledge and expertise in strategic planning to lead us in this viable and critical direction, which has positively impacted our school district's decision making and community connections for the foreseeable future.  With Drew's support and leadership, we are now on target to achieve not only our school district goals and directives, but also our community partnership goals.

Tom Rheinheimer
Superintendent, Wautoma Area School District