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Let’s Talk Strategic Doing

Posted By Chuck Gillespie, Friday, March 8, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019
From the desk of Chuck Gillespie, NWI Interim Executive Director

Many organizations and communities spend countless hours and valuable resources developing strategic plans. When I first started as the head of HR for a global trucking and transportation company, the CEO pulled me in to discuss how he wanted to move forward with the new strategic plan. I asked when the last one was done, and he said two years ago. With that, I read through it. 


What did I discover? 

Not a single goal was met.  

Rather than engage in another planning session, I convinced the CEO to take one of the goals of the “current” strategic plan and focus only on that goal for three months, in addition to business as usual. At the end of that three-month period, the organization had accepted the change and we saw success. Within 18 months, we finally needed a new strategic plan, because the company had achieved its goals.  

A Japanese Proverb offers great insight: “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”  

In my nearly two decades of working in the wellness field as a practitioner, consultant and wellness association leader, I have seen some of the best wellness strategic plans that have failed miserably, because they were plans with no action (I have also seen the nightmares of action without plans).  

That is why I love the concept of strategic doing. Strategic doing is not about fixing an old system, rather, it is about designing what’s next. Strategic doing is about aligning and activating a network of people and organizations to create a sense of purpose. It’s about taking a goal and putting it into action. If the goal is successful, move forward. If it is not successful, determine why (quickly – no analysis paralysis), note it, decide if it is worth trying again or move to the next goal.  

We are driving this concept at the NWI HQ right now with a revamped website and a laser beam approach to offering more of a member experience. We are also looking at ways to add amazing new trainings and education series, and finalizing plans for the National Wellness Conference, where we look to keep some of the great traditions of the past while offering new and (hopefully) exciting opportunities to learn, grow and connect.  

Not everything we do is going to be right, and we know it. Strategic doing is about being able to shift when our choices are not aligned properly. How can you help? Let us know three things:

  1. What made you join the NWI?
  2. Why do you maintain your membership?
  3. What can we do to enhance your member experience?  

We are also looking to bring the great collective knowledge of our members. Consider offering your expertise to our members by conducting a monthly webinar for us. Please note that your webinar needs to meet criteria for continuing education. So as much as I would watch an hour long webinar on how to juggle chainsaws while skydiving (and who wouldn’t), that might not meet our continuing education requirements.     

If we are going to create a world where the NWI’s Six Dimensions of Wellness is the driver for vitality and prosperity, then we must be ready to challenge the status quo. This means how we work together to make the needed changes and how we conduct our daily work. Status Quo is Latin for “the mess we are currently in” and that is not acceptable. 

We must work together to practice strategic doing. Are you ready?  

- Chuck 

Tags:  Chuck Gillespie  National Wellness Institute  NWI Executive Director 

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