Collaborative Practices in Strategic Planning

Is collaboration working? Is collaboration doing what we want it to do?

Multiple use, multiple stakeholders, multiple needs and multiple interests requires working with other public agencies, tribal governments, nonprofits, businesses and the public. Today, land management necessitates collaboration in our everyday work.

Collaboration supports a systems approach rather than a singular approach to managing the more complex and larger scale conservation issues faced by today's public land managers.

Learn how the BLM Strategic Planning Team developed a blueprint for creating a national strategic plan to support and nurture collaboration as a practice throughout the agency.

Discover how the BLM and the USGS designed a flexible and iterative strategic planning provess based on insights provided by EPA, NPS and the USFS. 

Consider the contributions of USGS social scientists working in partnership with the BLM plannng team to design, collect and analyze the insights and experience of BLM employees with collaboration responsibilities.

Hear how survey results and focus groups defined four elements of the BLM Collaboration Strategic Plan:

1. Create common understanding

2. Champion collaborative culture

3. Launch internal capacity

4. Demonstrate and assess outcomes

Find value in the process that created a conversation and an awareness about collaboration throughout a broad representation of BLM employees.

Take away a lesson learned: the BLM Collaboration Strategic Plan is an iterative, living plan, measured by its responsiveness to the needs of field  personnel and stakeholders. A strategic plan crafted to help the BLM meet the needs of a changing and complex world.

Discussion Questions:

1. Where do you find best practices within your agency and in other organizations to guide the development of a national strategy?

2. How do you define agency representation in the development of the strategic planning team?

3. How do you design a strategy that demonstrates collaborative practices in the development of the strategic plan?

4. In what areas will you need qualitative information to assess the usefulness of quantitative data?

5. What role might a facilitator play in the strategic planning process?

6. How might you involve the strategic planning committee in testing survey instruments, assessing the meaning of survey results, participating in focus groups, developing implementation strategies, setting goals and objectives and serving as messengers?


 Matt Magee 

Former Acting Program Lead, BLM
Collaboration and Dispute Resolution

Pat Johnston

Patricia Johnston

Dispute Resolution Specialist, BLM

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