Long-range planning has personally been one of my most rewarding League experiences, but more importantly it has been a turning point for the organization. Because of longrange planning, we are finding better ways to do what we need to do, coping better with the changes over which we have no control and actively building a strong foundation for ensuring the success of the League of the future.
The first long-range planning committee spent considerable time questioning how effective League action at the national level was. We wanted greater impact and visibility on the issues. This led to the development and further refinement of the Advocacy Agenda, which lets League leaders and members know what they can expect to be the important national issues they will be requested to take action upon. It helps the local and state Leagues better plan their activities for the coming year and it has resulted in more effective action and wider recognition for what the League does.
Prior to 1984, field service had ended up being somewhat of a hit or miss operation and was not very cost effective. The committee was aware that new methods of effectively training leaders existed and other organizations were making use of them. We recognized that innovative activities were taking place at the local and state level. We knew we could all learn from each other, if only we had a more reliable method of dialogue and training. Hence, the Leadership Training Conferences for state League leaders and the institutionalization of leadership training at Council and Convention. This effort has paid off handsomely in the renewed sense of commitment to the League and the rejuvenated sense of partnership among all levels of the League.
The 1988 Strategic Planning Committee had the benefit of the first Long-Range Plan and the discussions that took place at Council to build on. Assured that the League was still needed, confident that the plan of 1984 was pointing the right direction, the committee agreed that further self-examination was still in order.
After examination we agreed that what was called for was an update of the strategies and rewriting of the plan to make it more easily understood and usable as a planning document. We are pleased with the effort and are all personally proud to be members of an organization with such a distinguished past and such an exciting future.