Corporate executives extol the virtues of strategic planning within their organizations. The by-product of a deliberate planning process, strategic plans synthesize diverse planning guidance, threat, operational, and administrative data into a coherent document to guide the organization towards achievement of long-range goals and objectives. Most major corporations have well developed processes for planning. They produce sophisticated, comprehensive strategic plans to ensure their organizations fulfill their organizational purpose and compete effectively in highly competitive markets.
If the NCGOP has a strategic plan, it is a well-kept secret. There is little evidence the leadership team of the NCGOP does short-term planning, much less long-range strategic planning. Frankly, there’s little evidence of any planning above the County level. That is, in part, understandable given the ever-changing geography of the Congressional District organizations; but there is no excuse for the absence of a state-level strategic plan. Worse yet, there’s no evidence the NCGOP has long-range goals and objectives of any type, much less a plan to achieve them.
As an Army (Joint Operations, Plans and Execution System) JOPES-certified strategic planner, I recognize the necessity of setting short-term and long-term goals for the party; goals for numerical growth, winning elections, raising money, organizing precincts, increasing member participation, etc. I also know just how important it is to use our knowledge base, available technologies, and human resources to achieve those goals. Merely hoping for our party to get stronger and more effective is insufficient. To quote one of my great Army mentors, “Hope is not a method.”
For us to beat our democrat adversaries in future elections, the NCGOP must produce a strategic plan addressing the 2018, 2020, and 2022 election cycles. This plan should clearly establish the growth and coordination needed for our party to sustain its supermajority in the NC General Assembly, while resourcing efforts to increase our Council of State dominance and to retake the Governor’s mansion in 2020. We also need to be planning and recruiting to maintain conservative seats on the NC Supreme Court through 2020 and to win back conservative control of the High Court in 2022. All fundraising and staffing efforts should be applied to the priorities that derive from the strategic plan.
Now, the NCGOP can learn from the tragic mistakes made in planning and resourcing the 2016 election cycle; or we can sit back and watch history repeat itself in coming elections. I don’t know any active Republican who thinks our results were acceptable. Losing the Governor’s race by just a few thousand votes was shameful. Losing the Supreme Court for six years may prove to be cataclysmic. We simply cannot afford any future blunders like these. With competent leaders and smart strategic planning, we can and will do better beginning in June 2017.