Four Keys to Successful Strategic Planning in Public Power

December 2015

With 2016 quickly approaching, many utility management teams and boards are preparing for strategy retreats where they will work to set priorities for the business. With decades of experience in the industry, ScottMadden reminds public power companies of four keys to making strategic planning successful.

Key Details

Like other utilities, public power companies operate in an increasingly complex environment where today’s capital decisions can impact the business and its customers for decades to come. Alignment between management teams and their boards is critical. In public power, this alignment must be achieved around a not-for-profit mission and with appointed board members who may not have direct industry experience. Here are a few keys to success:

1. Stay Focused on the Purpose of Strategic Planning – The purpose of strategic planning is to drive coherence and alignment between management and their board on what is most important to the company.

2. Utilize a Thoughtful and Structured Process – The process should allow for education, discussion and debate, and clear decisions. The board must own the setting of strategic priorities with a great deal of leadership and support from its management team.

                  Public Power Strategic Planning Process to Gain Coherence and Alignment

3. Insist on Good Engagement between Board and Management – The management team must continuously engage with and educate the board. Board members must stay focused on what is best for the company and avoid decisions that are too narrow. Company leadership should expect some iteration before strategic priorities are set.

4. Identify Practical and Achievable Strategic Priorities – The strategic priorities of the board must be supported by a business plan that management executes. Management plans must allow for effective board oversight through specific monitoring and measurement of progress.

These four keys to successful strategic planning have been proven, time and again, to increase alignment and improve the results of the process. Contact us to learn more.

More Information

ScottMadden: Strategic Planning in Public Power and Cooperatives

This report is part of the Public Power Minute series. To view all featured Minutes, please click here.

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