Strategic Planning is a Great way to Keep your Organization on Track.

Strategic planning should be embedded into the regular operation of any organization. It helps organizations make sound decisions to guide its activities over time.

OMAFRA has partnered with the Ontario Business Improvement Areas Association (OBIAA) to deliver a free program to build organizational capacity using the Strategic Planning Train-the-Trainer (TTT) program. The program engages and trains a core team of volunteers from within the BIA to strengthen their leadership skills and build a network of support and collaboration that will assist them in creating a strategic plan for their organization.

To participate, BIAs must:

  • Be willing to participate in the strategic planning process
  • Have a commitment from the Board to the process
  • Not be in a crisis situation
  • Have five volunteers (the Core Team) that will commit to be trained to facilitate strategic planning

The program includes five hands-on sessions delivered via webinar, running on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm starting November 28, 2017 until March 2018. Volunteers will learn about each stage of OMAFRA’s strategic planning framework, and how it provides a foundation for the next stage. As homework, Core Team members will facilitate that stage of the strategic planning process with their own organization. If you missed the Lunch and Learn on October 24, the slide deck below provides an overview of the program:

At the conclusion of the program, each BIA will have a completed strategic plan, experience conducting the strategic planning process, and volunteers that have developed the leadership and other skills to maintain the strategic plan going forward. The most recent TTT conducted with BIAs across Ontario resulted in the following impacts:

  • Those noting a high level of understanding and knowledge of strategic planning went from 20% of participants prior to the training to 80% following the training
  • Confidence in facilitating the strategic planning process went from 58% of participants prior to training, to 100% of participants following the training
  • Leadership skills among 88% of participants rose
  • Goals and action plans were created by 87% of participants

OMAFRA and OBIAA have teamed up to deliver an additional training session open to all BIAs and their community partners prior to the start of the program, focused on Community Economic Development and the role of the BIA, on Tuesday November 7 from 7:00-9:00 pm.

The Strategic Planning TTT program is free to join, and you can get an application by emailing You can also access OMAFRA’s Strategic Planning Resource Manual online. If you have any questions, please contact Darren Shock, Economic Development Specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at 519-826-6634 or


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