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Summary of article (not more than 2 pages)



Strong points of article (half page)



Weak points of article (half page)



Your recommendation of how to improve the weak points (1 page maximum)



As an educational planner, how would you apply the ideas from the article? (1 page maximum)



Appendix (original copy of your article)




Richard A. Mittenthal promoting the ten ways in order to achieve victory in strategic planning. These ten ways are made specialized to nonprofit and foundation leaders which he hopes can contribute something in the non-profit organization.

Before starting explaining the ten keys, Mittenthal first promoting a prerequisites of successful plan towards action as the essence in the successful ingredients. He mentioned the definition of successful plan as an utilizable plan that able to give picture of organization’s activities in broad and long term visualization and also plays an important role in improving effectiveness, capacity and relevance of the organization’s mission and vision.

First key that promoted by Mittenthal is a clear and comprehensive grasp of external opportunities and challenges. Each and every organization in this world is constantly impacted by contributions and services of social and political tendency. So, according to him, leaders should have clear picture of their external opportunities and challenges and they also should reexamined and reformed their operations according to the current realities and also future progress.

Second key that promoted by Mittenthal is leaders must manage a realistic and comprehensive assessment of the organization’s strengths and limitation. Putting consideration of capabilities and strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and threat of the organization into assessments whereby involving activities of collecting data in a broad sense of sources.

Third key is a complete approaches where considering at each level of stakeholders’ groups and their opinion should not be biased equally. Quoting from Mittenthal, if the planning


process is to succeed, it must incorporate the views of all the constituencies that will be affected by the plan or have a role in its implementation.

Forth key is an empowered planning committee. As human resource is the greatest contribution towards achieving excellence in strategic planning, Mittenthal gave more prioritized in planning committee with sufficient decision-making authority.

Fifth key is involvement of senior leadership in strengthening organization’s strategic planning. This involvement includes their vision and commitment towards the successful.

The sixth key is sharing of responsibility by board and staff members. Both board and staff members must hand in hand fully committed to put their organization together on track.

The seventh key is learning from best practices as it is possible to learn from the successes, failures and mistakes done before by others. This is a way to reexamine and appraise the practices that done before as well as to pick the best among it to be practice.

The eighth

key is clear priorities and implementation plan in the organization.

Mittenthal said that leader should know how to identify prioritization as most essential in organization success. Thus, they should know which need is the best and how to implement it.

The ninth key is patience in the heart of leaders. As the physical appearance of the organization giving much impact on the period taken to accomplish the mission, so leaders should be more patience in handling it according to the normal period stated. This will embark a golden success to the organization.


The tenth key is a commitment to change in strategies which is need to be revisited regularly involving leaders and staff workers as needed by client, markets conditions and funding criteria change. All they needs are fine-tuning, rethinking and reflecting of goals and opportunities.

Lastly, According to him, a strategic planning is not a wish list, a report card or a marketing tool, but a strategic planning is a core element which enlightens unique strengths and relevant weaknesses in a certain organization. It is also facilitating education to discover new opportunities or the caused of the certain problems. According to him also, if the managerial and staff are steadfast in implementing strategic planning, it can endow with the outline of where the organization want to go, how to get there, when to achieve, who will implement and who can get benefit and what to achieve.

Strong points of article

1) Mittenthal explaining the basic idea of strategic planning besides describing ten main keys for those who’s without planning background can intensively have their tutorial to have an ideas of strategic planning

2) The author also used very broad and wide example taken from any angle of organization, consist of school, foundations, public charities, nonprofit association and government department.


The explanations were so clear and briefly describe in each point and key.

4) The references that author referred to this topic is generally very familiar references such as by Allison, Michael and Jude Kaye, Bryson, Drucker, Barry and many more, which all these references can be trusted in term of concept of strategic planning.


Weak points of article

  • 1. Some of the keys are repeated such as second key and tenth key that talked about the same root that is reexamine and assessment of the activities in the strategic planning.

  • 2. All these ten keys of success in strategic planning were elaborated generally based from the attitude of the leaders and the steps indirectly towards the success.

  • 3. This article really mixes planning in the abstract features in the keys thoroughly. Especially when the author talked about leader need to be patience and in the other key, he talked about implementing and having clear priorities in planning. He mixed up between the attitude and the steps in achieving successful on strategic planning.

Your recommendation of how to improve the weak points


My recommendation of how to improve the weak points is according to my references, there were some authors also promoting many kinds of things towards achieving successful in strategic planning.

According to James F. Bandrowski (1985), he introducing term ‘creative planning’ in the sense of the purpose of planning is to create new and improved strategies. He began to develop this idea in 1978 when he realized that innovative thinking should play a central role in both strategy development and implementation. He next done the research that proved three things; first, there are numerous planning engagements and recording how top management conceives successful strategies and motivates the organization to implement them. Second, there is a creative techniques used in the fields of new product development, advertising and the fine arts. And third, the approaching creativity from the psychological point of view.

In order to classified between key and steps, according to John M. Bryson (2004) there are ten steps of strategic planning process rather than keys. There are initiate and agree on the process, identify organizational mandates, clarify organizational mission and values, assess the external and internal environment to identify SWOT, identify the strategic issues facing the organization, formulate strategies to manage the issue, review and adopt the strategies, establish an effective vision, develop an effective implementation process and reassess the strategies and the strategic planning process.


As an educational planner, how would you apply the ideas from the article?

As an educational planner, I would apply the ideas by having those all keys that promoted by Mittenthal in implementing strategic planning. First, how should I begin? According to James F. Bandrowski (1985), it depends on my size of my organization, the number and the diversity of my division and department lines, the degree of creative participation I’m desire, the availability of management time, and the geographical dispersion of my operations. I could start with: corporate plan that is develop a flexible, overall plan for my company to provide a framework that parallel with those ten keys that discussed just now.

Second move is division plan. By implement such those ten keys that relate and interlink with the leaders and the planning committee, the positive result will appear as division plans are completed, integrate them into an overall corporate plan that mentioned just now.

As far as strategic panning is concern, those ten keys absolutely can be implementing in the educational planning as the turning point to change the real situation of the ground to the successful and glory moment in strategic planning. I need to have clear external opportunities, priorities and challenges that hidden occur in my organization besides implementing realistic assessments of strength and limitation and complete approach between my staff and leaders in organization.

Lastly, I will not excluded all the documented records of best practice in order to ready to change to the best situation, as well as empowering planning committee and encourage involvement of senior leadership with sharing of responsibility between board and staff and I need to be patience in seeing my organization achieving glory moment in taken years.