Blog 3 - Hindsight isn't always 20/20

In advance of our all-college strategic planning retreat November 29 and 30, I’ve been reaching out to Dr. Daniel J. Pesut, the proven strategic planning expert we’ve been working with, and he recently provided me with some key nuggets of information that I’d like to pass on to you.

He mentioned that there are three things that, if not taken into consideration, can impact your ability to properly create and execute transformation, in our case, a new strategic plan – hindsight, insight and foresight. In this blog, I plan on concentrating on hindsight, and following blogs will address the other two.

Hindsight is where most organizations sit – they’re running at such a fast pace that there’s little time for reflection. Instead, it seems logical to look back at the past year and use those observations for future planning. This often leads to repeating past mistakes instead of finding productive and innovative ways forward. This can be a time- and energy-sapping problem that can be discouraging to members of an organization. For us, it’s critical to take a deep dive and determine where past issues have come from to prevent repeating those mistakes. We want to make sure we truly see the challenges this college has faced and find new ways to progress forward.

What I’ve heard from many of you about your past attempts at strategic planning is that it was a lot of work for little payoff due to it being crafted based on hindsight. Dr. Pesut and I are here to make sure that this time around, you’re not only involved, but that all of us – Faculty and Staff alike – are invested in a strategic plan that we create together.

The mission of our old face – PACS – was “to strengthen communities through education, scholarship and engagement.” This mission statement was a worthy endeavor and includes important activities that we continue to do holistically by applying our pedagogy and applied research to solving important community problems.  In my opinion, this  mission statement doesn’t really spark growth or challenge our talented, highly skilled Faculty and Staff as we move forward as a College of Health and Public Service.

A vision statement is intended to touch, move and inspire everyone in an organization. The PACS vision, “to become the go-to resources for community issues in Texas,” is an excellent goal, but does it push us to be our best? Does it motivate us to pursue loftier ambitions? What we create together will.

I’m excited to embark on this journey with all of you so we can leave hindsight behind and push ourselves beyond anywhere we’ve gone before. Our strategic plan is about transformation – not change. I look forward to growing together as a college in a way that not only motivates, but inspires.