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Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Toolkit

Getting Ready

Access the Toolkit >>


A strategic plan shapes and guides what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why. Effective strategic plans also articulate how an organization will know it is successful.

Strategic planning answers the following key questions:

  • Where are we?
  • Where are we going?
  • How will we get there?
  • Are we getting there?

Diversity and Inclusion at Your Organization

Please review your organization’s current definition of diversity and inclusion. Ask yourself the following:

  • Are there elements that are missing?
  • Are there areas that need attention?
  • Is this definition well understood?
  • Is this definition engrained in the culture of the organization?

Assemble Your Team

Engage your leadership team to work through the essential tasks in this toolkit and to make critical choices about your institution’s strategic direction.

Teams will vary in size, depending on the amount and history of diversity within the organization. Below are some suggestions for people to invite:

  • Deans
  • Faculty
  • Stakeholders from within and outside your department
  • Staff responsible for implementation
  • An administrator to record steps, arrange meetings, etc.

Tip: Select people who are strategic thinkers and good at solving problems. It is not enough to only consider the organizational charts; rather, consider where influence in your organization is housed and identify individuals whose perspectives carry more weight, regardless of their place in the organization.

Establish Scope

Define the scope of your strategic plan. Understand the key area(s) of emphasis for the plan as outlined by the leaders who started the strategic planning initiative.

  • What is it that this plan is seeking to accomplish within the confines of your organizational structure?
  • Where are the boundaries for your work, and how will this plan engage all the invested constituents?

Determine Your Timeline

To maximize the effectiveness of this toolkit, you and your team will need to invest time in researching and collecting information to answer the questions asked in each essential task.

You will also need meeting time to review materials, delegate tasks, discuss findings, and make decisions. We suggest that you develop a timeline for your team and set aside enough time (three months or more) to complete this process.

Using the Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to accompany Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine: A Strategic Planning Guide. It provides directions, context, and resources for navigating the strategic planning process.

The guide divides the strategic planning process into nine essential tasks. Although you should work through the tasks in order, you will find that strategic planning can be a circular process. As you conduct research and refine your thinking, you may return to earlier tasks in order to amend and/or expand your original thinking. Treat this as a flexible, rather than rigid, process.

Your Roadmap: The Nine Essential Tasks

Task Tab (All Grey)

Each essential task and the supplemental tools associated with the task create a roadmap for the process of strategic planning as follows:

  • Environmental Scan will be completed in Tasks 1 and 2.
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis will be completed in Task 3.
  • Vision, Mission, and Strategic Goals will be defined in Task 4.
  • Objectives, Tasks, and Metrics will be created in Tasks 5 and 6.
  • Implementation Plan and Budget Alignment will be completed in Tasks 7 through 9.

You will find customizable templates and additional resources to help you work through the guide in the Essential Tasks section below.

Essential Tasks

Task 1

Solicit buy-in and commitment from key stakeholders

Task 3

Identify leverage points and challenges

Task 5

Set clear and realistic objectives, supporting tasks, and action steps required to achieve goals

Task 6

Develop accountability methods and metrics to measure achievement of each objective

Task 7

Establish roles, responsibilities, and decision-making channels

Task 8

Develop a realistic timeline for executing all action steps

Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Medicine: A Strategic Planning Guide

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Diversity Data Snapshots

Diversity Data Snapshots (DDS) is an electronic newsletter containing relevant news sources, data points, and research findings related to diversity in higher education, academic medicine, and health equity.