Report on Strategic Planning for 2019-2023

Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals

 Submitted by Harvey J. Linnen, HJ Linnen Associates

January 2019


Introduction and Next Steps


The Board of the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals (SATP) held a strategic planning session on January 20, 2019. The strategic planning process was facilitated by Harvey J. Linnen.

 This document is the report on that planning session, and includes the annual revision to the Strategic Plan, now covering the years 2019-23.

 The fundamental decisions made in the planning session were:

  • To reconfirm the current Purpose Statement (Vision, Mission, Values –  and to continue the process (first identified a year ago) for reviewing and revising the statement during 2019.

  • To significantly revise the Strategies – to reflect the strategic goals that were achieved in the past year, and to revise strategic priorities going forward. These revisions update the Strategic Plan and extend it forward to remain focused on a 5-year planning horizon.


Next Steps

The primary next step is for the Board to review the Strategic Plan in this report, to revise as necessary, and then to formally adopt the Purpose Statement (Vision, Mission, Values) and the Strategies (including Goals).

 The subsequent steps will be for:

  • the Board to move forward on its strategies and goals; and

  • staff to develop or adapt its operational planning so that short-term operational activities, priorities and expenditures align with the Strategic Plan.

Purpose Statement:

Vision, Mission, Values

VISION – Our vision is for a dynamic and unified community of theatre professionals contributing to a vibrant and diverse society.

 MISSION – Our mission is to:

  • Be an effective voice – advocating for and representing theatre professionals to government and all aspects of our society, basing our messages on sound knowledge and thorough consultation among our members and partners.

  • Build a strong network – facilitating effective communication among our members, and between our members and their theatre communities and stakeholders.

  • Promote professional theatre – working for increased public awareness and support for the theatre professionals and professional theatre, for the encouragement of theatre opportunities and government understanding of the value and social importance of theatre to our province.


VALUES – Our defining characteristics are seen in the values of:

  • Inclusivity – acting as a collaborative partner in the broader theatre community and the creative industries, appreciating the strength of diversity among organizations, people and approaches.

  • Creativity – encouraging creativity as part of a single continuum that links the new with tradition in the theatre and in organizations.

  • Respect – acting with highest regard for the commitment of those who earn their living in the theatre.



  • Vision – why we exist; why we are involved in this organization;
    a picture of the primary purpose or outcome of the organization.

  • Mission – our work; what we do in pursuit of our Vision.

  • Values – our priorities for behaviour and decisions; the characteristics
    that define what kind of people we are; and what our organizational
    culture and decision-making is based on.


Strategies and Goals for 2019-23

 Strategy #1 – Industry Development

 Drive economic growth in the live performing arts industry and facilitate creative development


  • In February 2019, identify new programs for creative, business and workforce development.

  • In February and March 2019, engage CS in our new program directions and collaborate on industry development.

  • By June 2019, apply for program resources.

  • Immediately and continuously, consult and communicate with the industry on these steps.


Strategy #2 – Governance and Leadership Processes

 Strengthen the Association’s internal governance and its leadership within the live performance creative industries, to ensure long-term and effective leadership, representation and accountability.


  • Continue to develop, document and implement a full governance system that includes policies, bylaws, succession planning, structure and communications; all components in place by 2020.

  • Conduct annual strategic planning.

  • Review the Strategic Plan’s Purpose Statement by the 2019 Annual General Meeting.

  • Create events annually for training and development, and for dialogue on issues.

  • Maintain existing key initiatives:

    • one-on-one outreach to engage Board Members with industry professionals throughout the year;

    • annual engagement with political leaders at all levels;

    • annual collaboration with relevant provincial and national organizations;

    • ongoing dissemination of relevant information to members regarding member issues and industry development; and

    • completion by 2020 of an online calendar and profiles to link the industry and the public.


Strategy #3 – Financial Sustainability

Ensure financial security that allows the Association to effectively pursue economic growth and artistic development of live performing arts.


  • Continue to identify and pursue various sources of funding.

  • Achieve sustainable funding that is defined by:

    • secure annual funding; and

    • an annual increase in membership revenue achieved through increase in number of members.

    • Increase membership by five per cent a year.

Appendix A: Planning Process


 The January 2019 session was part of SATP’s existing, long-term planning methodology, comprising the following seven steps in an annual cycle of activity:


Step1 – Process: Board understanding and consensus around the purpose and process of strategic planning.

Step 2 – Purpose Statement: Clarifying the organization's purpose statement, developed as Vision, Mission and Values.

Step 3 – Analysis: Using SWOT Analysis and GAP analysis (and other methodologies as appropriate), assess the internal and external environment, the desired state of the organization, and primary gaps that need to be addressed to achieve the desired state.

Step 4 – Strategies: Develop strategies – the few, highest-priority, long-range directions the Board will pursue to overcome the gaps and move the organization toward its desired state over a 5-year timeline. Each strategy includes measurable goals so that achievement of the strategies can be monitored and measured.


Step 5 – Tactics: Assign staff to develop an annual operational plan, covering all activities and a budget (to be approved by the Board) that aligns the organization's day-to-day activity with the directions and goals in the Strategic Plan.


Step 6 – Implementation and Monitoring: Board and staff take action on the goals identified in the Plan; including a process for monitoring progress and outcomes of the Strategic Plan during the course of the year.

Step 7 – Review: An annual review of the strategic plan applies the same step-by-step process to assess, update and extend the plan forward another year, establishing it as a living document that is continually guiding the organization and continually looking ahead to longer-term strategic directions and goals.

Expectations and outcomes from the January 2019 session

The intent of the January 2019 Board planning was to achieve Step 4 – Strategies, with Goals. The step results in a Strategic Plan.

Steps 5-7 occur over the course of the next 12 months.

Discussion Methodology

The planning session was conducted in a consensus model – that is, the facilitator looked for the highest level of consensus at every step in the day’s discussion. Consensus was defined as agreeing to accept the work done to that point, and to fully support it once the session was completed. At all steps of strategic planning there was full consensus among participants.

The review of the meeting with the Creative Saskatchewan CEO was conducted using the four-step focused conversation model (facts, reflections, ideas and decisions) and the decisions were then incorporated into the Strategic Planning analysis and strategy-setting steps.

 Facilitator’s Agenda

1. Meeting with Greg Magirescu, CEO, Creative Saskatchewan
a. Greg’s presentation
b. Q&A session, focused on:
i. Clarification
ii. Information
iii. Ideas

2. Review of the meeting with Greg
a. Facts
b. Reflections
c. Ideas
d. Decisions

3. Strategic Plan – annual review
a. Purpose Statement
i. Review Vision, Mission and Values
b. Analysis
i. Progress on last year’s Strategic Plan
-review strategies and goals
ii. SWOT analysis
- Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
iii. GAP analysis
1. Ideal state in 5 years
2. Current state
3. Gaps between Current and Ideal
c. Strategies
i. Review and revise existing Strategies
ii. Review and revise Goals for each Strategy
4. Wrap up
a. Confirm decisions
b. Identify next steps