Strategic Thinking Before Planning Initiative
Assess Plan Engage eXecute (APEX) 2025
Montclair State navigates a highly complex set of intersecting terrains – being in New Jersey, in the U.S., being a public institution, and in the sector of Higher Education. Montclair State University’s APEX 2025 (Assess, Plan, Engage, eXecute) is aspirational and is represented as a journey ascending past the challenges of today for the common good of tomorrow.
The Leadership Team for strategic planning developed an environmental data scan and has designed analysis activities, which led us through the strategic planning process. The complete planning project will produce our new plan and guide us into its annual execution process.
Strategic thinking provides “the framework of choices that determine the nature and direction of your organization and how you will achieve your aspirations and prevail over competitors and obstacles.” (Source: Freedman & Frost)
Our strategic framework covers three dimensions:
- How do we continue to enhance the value of a Montclair State University education for our students and society?
- How do we solidify our leadership and impact as a public institution?
- How do we create a fiscal plan with forethought so that we can execute our vision?
Strategic thinking is followed by strategic planning and the implementation of the plan with periodic assessment embedded within the process.
We are now in the third phase, Engage.
Understand where we are now and how we got here.
- Discover the current state of Montclair State by data gathering that represents the past and present.
- The University community, as well as external constituents, are engaged in Strategic Thinking – Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) focus groups to determine: Who Montclair State is now and how Montclair State got here.
- The Office of Institutional Research is simultaneously engaged in an environmental scan to determine the external influences on Montclair State and Higher Education in the United States.
Analysis of these data will lead us to:
- Use a gap analysis to Define the purpose and direction of the plan. The Vision of where we should be going and what we want to do will be determined through an understanding of where we are now and how we have arrived here.
- Decide what we want to do and Design pathways to achieve the VISION for the future. Determine the pillars/themes of the plan and prioritize.
- Engage the university and broader communities in prioritizing our goals/objectives to Decide strategies to invest in and own the plan. Align the plan across all divisions and units of the University.
- Deliver Planning & Implementing Actions
- Strategic Implementation Considerations
- Strategic Priorities and Goals/Objectives
- Change Management
- Implementation Plans
- Contingency Action Plans
- Reviewing and Improving Strategic Performance
- Conduct periodic reviews
- Make required adjustments