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How We Got Here

When it's time to write a new strategic plan, some organizations feel a sense of dread--it represents a time and energy consuming process that does not culminate in a particularly strategic document. It is placed on the shelf while day-to-day business operations resume. In many cases, a strategic plan is really an operational plan--a collection of incremental improvements toward an envisioned state. These plans often fall short in identifying unique and innovative opportunities to make a substantial leap forward or in a new direction.

Edmonds College worked to design a new model that would allow us to focus on the operational planning and also include a permanent innovation structure to consider, evaluate, and recommend strategic changes to stay relevant in a competitive market. We sought a model that would be administratively light, and be a plan that is continually refreshed each year as strategies roll-off or roll-on. These innovations could propose new business models, new target markets, new partnerships, or academic delivery models to provide increased value to stakeholders or address unmet needs in our community. This two-sided and annually refreshed comprehensive plan has taken the place of a traditional strategic plan, allowing us to be more nimble in how we respond to changes in our environment.


What market signals do you see that the college should be paying attention to?

What unmet needs do you see in the community that the college could address?

People in a meeting

Campus and Community Input

Interviews, forums, submission forms, and student voices were compiled, sorted and themed.


The Idea Lab

Think tank that considers higher education trends, industry disruptions, and unique models that could align with education.

Snohomish county map

Environmental Scanning

Keeping tabs on economic indicators, housing markets, labor market factors, legislative agendas, and more.