I strongly believe in the power of strategic planning as an important organizational process creating alignment in our School’s process and content, as well as alignment with the strategic goals of our university as laid out in For the Public Good. Strategic planning requires that we be both inward looking and outward facing.
In January 2019, our School embarked on a journey to create a strategic plan to guide our shared work for the next five years, drawing on the creative insights and knowledge of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, staff, students and key stakeholders. It has been my intent that this be an inclusive strategic planning process to chart our future direction. Indeed, it is.
Eight members of the School of Public Health community who form the School’s Strategic Planning Facilitation Team are championing the process. The team met several times in the first quarter of 2019, and work is well underway. To date, we have almost 300 touch points through feedback on two surveys and 11 consultation meetings.
Strategic planning is more than developing wish lists—it is, at times, a messy process of making difficult choices and setting priorities. Our strategic plan will be linked to ‘scorecards’ that monitor progress towards the strategic priorities. The ‘scorecards’ will include metrics, targets and initiatives to drive performance towards achieving our strategic objectives.
This exercise presents an opportunity for us to listen to each other—and the communities we serve—to understand various unique points of view. It is also a responsibility and opportunity for all of us in the School community to create a shared vision for our school.
Together, we will chart a course for the next five years to focus our work in advancing knowledge, training tomorrow’s leaders to address pressing public health issues affecting the health and well-being of people.
Shanthi Johnson, Professor and Dean
SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA