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Management-Driven Strategic Planning


Strategic planning is essential to aligning an organization to respond and thrive in an increasingly complex and fast-moving business environment. For Golden State Farm Credit this year, the process began with the executive team, expanded to include senior managers and will next be considered by the Board of Directors.

“Our executives have a deep understanding of our business, the challenges and the opportunities Golden State is facing, and that we anticipate in the coming years,” says CEO Rob Faris. “It makes sense for us to apply this insight to develop a strategic approach for our board to review and respond to.”

As a first step, Rob worked with FCCS consultant Jay Lux to identify critical topics and discussion questions, and then with the executive team to develop an agenda to drive a meaningful and comprehensive discussion. Jay then facilitated an in-depth, two-day dialog, and has ensured continued progress on the strategic plan development with regular status calls.

“Jay leads a very thoughtful process that is enhanced by his experience already working with our executives and board from other projects, including succession planning and CEO selection,” says Rob. “FCCS and Jay’s understanding of Farm Credit, cooperatives and our mission also added value to the process.”

Golden State’s strategic plan encompasses four pillars identified during the planning session. These pillars and the strategic direction were shared with the broader senior management team, who were tasked with fleshing out the plan with specific initiatives, timeframes and budgets.

“It’s essential that the management team feels ownership of the strategic plan development process, especially as they’ll be charged with implementing the plan once it’s approved,” says Rob.

One of Golden State Farm Credit’s four key strategic pillars these is human capital, which encompasses three strategies: a future focus on talent management, staff growth and development, and the creation of compelling employee experiences. Each of these strategies is further supported by tactical avenues, such as skills-based operating model that prioritizes skills and abilities over education and experience.

Rob and his team will next present the strategic plan to the Board for discussion and approval, rejection, or modification. After that, the Golden State team will get to work implementing the strategic initiatives to guide the association into the future.

For more information on strategic planning consulting and facilitation with your board or executive team, contact Jay Lux, Vice President of Leadership and Organizational Development, at 651.982.4568 or via email.

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