Community Strategic Planning  


It is common to assume that long-range planning and community strategic planning are the same, but in my terminology, they are not. Long-range planning is characterized as follows:

Schuykill County VISION facilitator Henry Luke goes over county statistics with the 138 task force & Technology Center.
Photo courtesy of Schuylkill County, PA
  • Projects current operation into the future
  • Does not invite thinking about what the organization or region should be
  • Plans determine direction rather than a clear sense of direction determining the plans
  • Is built from the lowest levels where information exists to make projections
  • Tends to be overly optimistic
  • Tends to be inflexible


Community Strategic Planning, however, produces a visionary statement of what the community wants to be 10 to 20 years in the future. This shared Vision of the future provides a framework for Collaborative Implementation that makes the Community Vision reality.

Most groups, companies, communities and individuals do not have a clear Vision of the future because of perceived difficulties in forecasting the future. Henry Luke has developed a proven "Strategic Thinking" process that provides an opportunity for the community to efficiently develop Vision and Strategy in the six foundation areas that create community competitive advantage. This Vision and Strategy will become reality through Collaborative Implementation by the Vision Partners. Organizations throughout the community will endorse the Vision and become Vision Partners committed to long-term implementation. The Vision Partners will develop Strategic Alliances to make individual strategies reality in the appropriate priority order.

The Vision Process is designed at the beginning to expand the number of Vision Partners. There are usually one to five founding Vision Partners. During the collaborative implementation process,  at least one Vision Partner per 2,000 residents in the community will be recruited.

Community Strategic Planning: Phase I (6 months)

Community Vision...   A statement describing the community at least ten to twenty years in the future:

  • Vision and Strategies for the six foundations for creating a comprehensive community vision:
Education Economic Development
Quality of Life Government
Infrastructure Private Sector Leadership

Henry Luke, of Luke Planning, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., addresses approximately 600 people at the Envision Capital Region Stakeholders Summit in Harrisburg, PA.
Photo courtesy of Schuylkill County, PA

Results in:

  • Five Community Core Values
  • Five Key Benchmarks to measure progress annually
  • 6 Visions
  • 120 Strategies
  • 30 priority strategies
  • Collaborative Implementation Process
  • Involvement of potential Vision Partners


Collaborative Implementation: Phase II (5 to 10 years)

Collaborative Implementation by Vision Partners...Organizations throughout the community endorse the Vision and become Vision Partners committed to long term implementation. The Vision Partners develop strategic alliances to make individual strategies reality in the appropriate priority order.

  • 100 to 900 Vision Partners endorse the Vision
  • Vision Partners or a Strategic Alliance of Vision Partners adopt specific strategies for implementation and develop for each strategy:
    • Strategy Benchmarks to measure progress on the specific strategy adopted
    • Action Steps
  • All strategies will not be adopted the first year, but spread out over a 5-year period.
  • Annual update of the five Key Benchmarks and Strategy Benchmarks.

Community Visioning | Community Strategic Planning | Collaborative Implementation
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Luke Planning Inc.
8651 Nathans Cove Court  Jacksonville, FL 32256
(904) 318-5266
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