NAI 2021-23 Strategic Plan: Draft for member review

NAI Members,

At the link above you will find the draft of our strategic plan for the coming three years. I’m asking for your review and comments. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to comment.) The board values your thoughts and we’d like to hear from you—please comment by Friday, October 23.

As you know, we completed the previous five-year plan with a flourish last year. Since then the board has been busy reviewing progress and gathering data to inform this plan. Many of you aided that effort by participating in the SWOT analysis sessions and at last year’s national conference, and by completing the member survey. In fact, the number of members participating was substantial. Your responses helped make this truly a member-focused strategic plan. Your comments now will continue that.

We elected to make this a three-year plan, rather than the more traditional five-year plan due to the many changes swirling around us. Those include COVID, which influences conferences, participation, jobs, and budgets. Plus, with Margo, who has been a talented executive director and a strong leader, retiring, we are entering a new era of leadership and direction. The board felt a three-year plan allows flexibility as these things sort themselves out, yet will provide direction to the board and be a starting place for our new executive director.

I must thank the board for their diligent work. They accepted a variety of tasks and accomplished them with timeliness and true professionalism. I won’t name them here, you will see them recognized in the introduction of the strategic plan. I do want to call out Tom Mullin, who, as our Vice President for Administration, dedicated himself to keeping us on our schedule and shepherding the process. His organization and friendly leadership was absolutely invaluable.

Last, I want to mention Evie Kirkwood who accepted the challenge of facilitating the strategic planning process. She led us through several Zoom meetings, analyzed the materials provided, and created the final document you see here. Evie, a long-time NAI member and past president, was able to lead from an understanding of who we are and that smoothed the process for us.

Please take a few moments to read the plan and think about where you fit in, how it affects you, and how can you participate in accomplishing the goals listed there. We look forward to your responses.

All my best to each of you.

Jay S. Miller
President, National Association for Interpretation

16 thoughts on “NAI 2021-23 Strategic Plan: Draft for member review”

  1. Thank you for sharing this and for all your hard work. Making this a 3-year plan seems like a wise decision.

  2. A:4B Please explain this idea more in a future issue of Legacy Magazine so we understand the concept better.
    C:1A Says who will complete this, but that detail is not given for task A:1C, please identify “who” will complete if you can.
    C: Parking lot items 1 & 2 need higher priority because orgs. like NRPA has strong connections to college students in the field where NAI is absent.

    1. Hey John..thanks for all your thoughts
      We will take all these into consideration for sure.. We needed to stream line the plan this go around to ensure we have a pathforward. But different from past plans we intend to review at least 2-3 times a year, updating as we go along. Plus its not just the professional staff working on projects. BOD and its committees plus the communities will be involved to complete it. A fair distribution of work for the profection

      The Parking lots are new this time we don’t forget them in the process
      And I completely occur about engaging students…a challenge but also one that is ongoing with the association already…onward for suree

      1. John – thanks for your thoughtful comments. You are right on about indicating who will complete the various tasks. Following board approval of the plan, the next step will be to assign “champions” and working groups.

  3. While I love the focus on IDEA, I would love to see the plan include justice as an essential component of the work. We need to actively acknowledge the true history of this field and conservation in order to move forward in equity and inclusion.

    1. The board is definately looking to at that J to the came up in our discussion pretty late in the process so we left it out for this round. However, as we move forward we will look to our DEI committee and the new section soon to be proposed as helping the board to fully include J in the work..thanks

  4. I’m glad to see a focus on greater oversight and consistency between the various regions/sections/communities (whatever they’re called now) while acknowledging the need for flexibility.

    I was also excited to see accessibility added as an integral concept for audiences that we have traditionally failed to acknowledge and serve fully.

    One thing I don’t see, and this may be the way the document is formatted, are measurable outcomes. There are several actions of “form a committee, collaborate with, inventory, develop, etc.” but no indication of what achieving that action(s) actually looks like.

    1. HI Laci – Thanks for your input. One thing the planning team determined was that the measurable outcomes would be built into an annual “work plan” or operations plan. With the board reviewing that plan and the strategic plan multiple times throughout the year, that should ensure specific outcomes. The various working groups will be able to draw from the performance indicators in the addendum.

  5. Thank you for sharing this impressive document with me and the membership. It was good to see a committee that was comprised of several familiar names and a host of “new” people. This means that the history of the organization will be blended with a vision for the future
    The organization has continued to grow and evolve over the years. This plan will insure that NAI will continue to be relevant to the profession and membership. “Its is the membership, stupid” Thank you for all of the work that went into this document!

    1. Hello Vern – and thank you for your comments. As one of the “familiar” names in this process, it was a very thorough endeavor with many people participating at different levels, which was exciting. Hope you are well!

      1. indeed it has been a cast of hundreds of folks who have been part of this process. As we move forward with an annual work plan that is tied to the strategic plan with performance indicators it will be something that we have been striving for since the days when you were VPA. Thanks for taking the time to review Vern

  6. I appreciate the background on how the plan came together. Thank you to all who participated. I especially like the A2 strategy as I have a desire to contribute but lack awareness of how best to serve. (I had to look up SWOT after reading this document and borrow a book on Robert’s Rules regarding NAI leadership position requirements). Growing my skills/knowledge increases my desire to invest in NAI by getting involved which would help me stay motivated and want to grow/invest more. A virtuous cycle.

    1. Hi Patti –

      I am glad to hear you are interested in serving NAI. There are many ways to get involved in NAI from committees to Community leadership and Board leadership. I also agree with you wholeheartedly that the more you get involved, the more you want to grow! If you do not mind, I will reach out to you to see where your interests lie and we can connect you to the project or group that aligns with your interests.

      -Take care!
      Terry Joyce, NAI National Secretary

  7. I appreciate all the hard work the board has put into this strategic plan. And I like the three year rotation, providing a little more flexibility for changing times. For the next strategic plan I would love to see NAI include more about how NAI as an organization is going to become more environmentally sustainable and conservation minded. Here are a few examples. Maybe small wind turbines or solar panels on the NAI home office to generate office electricity. For all conferences that require travel, include a climate offset tax in the registration and fund projects that give back to poor communities who are on the front lines of climate change. Take more of a stand when it comes to Climate Change. I’ve heard far too many colleagues claim they aren’t allowed to mention Climate Change at their work sites. Perhaps if NAI took more of a role in leading by example we could start breaking down some of these barriers. Thanks again for all the hard work and letting me comment on the stratetic plan.

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