Approaches to Environmental Scanning Course
The environmental scan is an assessment tool to prepare a group to do further work, such as strategic planning or making significant decisions. It includes relevant factual data such as an organizational or community history, accomplishments, industry and/or economic trends and subjective data such as customer, staff or community perceptions. In following the environmental scan with a planning process, the analysis of information about real and perceived needs provides a basis that will assist in strengthening later sessions.
An environmental assessment or other preparation activities can help participants gain insight into factors that may be driving or influencing their organization or community. It is essential for a group to know and understand the significance of these influences before it can start the planning process. For example, such preparation creates a common context for creating a vision for the future. When used as the first step in ToP Strategic Planning, an appropriate form of environmental assessment helps focus the planning.
There are many ways to approach an environmental assessment. You will be introduced to multiple approaches to environmental scanning:
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