Developing strategy and building programmatic capacity are cornerstones of transformational leadership. There are generally three approaches to formulating strategy: the visioning approach, the incremental approach, and the analytical approach (Kearns 2000). This article will discuss these approaches and address building capacity as a facet of strategic planning.

Strategy development is a fundamental aspect of leadership and a core competency of effective change leaders. Strategy development begins with a foundational understanding of an organization's context in the competitive landscape and a department's context within the organization. Below is a discussion of three general strategy- and capacity-building techniques, followed by a review of the Harvard policy model for strategic planning.

Kevin Kearns's three approaches (2000) are helpful tools for leaders. Understanding the various approaches is valuable as leaders begin to build out their strategy development toolkit.

  • The visioning approach “begins with the leader's vision and then works backward to determine...

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