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Strategic Plan Implementation - Roses, Buds, and Thorns

We have been supporting a client over the past year with the development of processes and structures to support the implementation of their new strategic plan. The success of a strategy’s implementation is connected to an organization’s ability to fully engrain the strategy into their practice -- by making it everyone’s role as opposed to something that only a handful of people are responsible for.


We helped this client establish Strategic Pillar Planning Committees to support the implementation of their strategic plan. They formed one committee for each pillar of their strategic plan (4 in total). Each committee has a chair and one member of their Senior Team in the role of a strategic pillar champion. These committees are responsible for prioritizing and overseeing all the strategic projects within the Agency. Collective Results supported the formation of these committees, developed templates to guide their work, led sessions to support skill development and supported their forward momentum over the past year.


Last week, we had a meeting with the chairs and champions of these 4 committees to reflect on their first year of strategic plan implementation and to look ahead. We started the meeting with a simple reflection activity that can easily be done as a group or independently. The activity is called Rose, Bud, Thorn. It is so easy and simple to do and is a great way to structure reflections. Here is how it works. Everyone is asked to take a few minutes to reflect on:


Rose: A highlight, success, small win, or something positive that happened


Bud: New ideas that have blossomed or something you are looking forward to knowing more about or experiencing


Thorn: A challenge you experienced or something you can use more support with

After reflections, individuals are invited to share back with the group through the chat feature or through discussion. The result is a multi-layered, in-depth discussion that is much more profound than simply asking “Are there any reflections on the past year?”.


This group shared great insights on their experience with their first year of strategic plan implementation. Here are some of the roses, buds and thorns that were shared!


Have you used the Rose, Bud, Thorn activity or a different activity to support groups with reflections and movement forward? Let us know what has worked for you!

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