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Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award Winners
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Winners of the Richard Goodman
Strategic Planning Award

2021 Winners

Award Category: Local Governmental Organization category

City of Vaughan

The Committee cited that:

The City of Vaughan has a clear framework for governance and a very thorough strategic planning process, incorporating the necessary phases and steps to develop and track a strategic plan. Several value adding components of this framework include environmental analyses and scanning, a commitment to industry benchmarking, citizen/customer surveys, employee feedback, business sector considerations, and insights from other citizen service providers.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Abu Dhabi Retirement Pensions & Benefits Fund - Honorable Recognition in the Local Governmental Organization category
  • Dubai Health Authority - RGA Honorable Recognition in the Local Governmental Organization category
  • Rabdan Academy - Honorable Recognition in the Not-for-profit or Academic organization category


Award Category: Pandemic Special Edition Award in the Local Governmental Organization Category

City of Vaughan

The Committee acknowledged:

The City of Vaughan business continuity and emergency preparedness which provided a strong platform of planning, competencies and facilities. The submission then detailed an exceptional catalogue of strategies, plans, decisions, activities, and behaviors from the immediate moment they responded to the crisis to the strategic planning review efforts.

Honorable Mentions for the Pandemic Special Edition:

  • Central Bank of the Dominican Republic
  • Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library


2020 Winner


Indiana Wesleyan University- USA

The Committee cited that:

Your application was successful in demonstrating how strategic planning helped the university survive and thrive in a competitive environment. The planning process displayed a clear assessment of the organization’s strengths, weaknesses and competitive environment. The assessment of the external environment was comprehensive and captured all key challenges faced by institutions of higher education. We were impressed with the adoption of innovative practices that had yielded tangible, objective results.   

The application illustrated adoption of innovations and a comprehensive strategy planning process to confront the challenges faced by the institution. We wish you success in your efforts, and congratulate you on your honorable mention!

2019 Winners


General Directorate of Residency and Social Affairs - Dubai

The Committee cited that:

The GDRFA 2019 submission demonstrated excellence in strategic planning by:

·         proficiently applying well-established planning processes

·         using innovative approaches to bring strategic planning towards the leading-edge

·         conducting thorough customer and industry analyses

·         logically implementing plans as measurable activities

·         demonstrating implementation effectiveness with compelling performance results  


The GDRFA submission was very well received by the judges. The strategy appears to be well formulated and the outcomes are shown in the implementation of best-practices and superior performance results. There were clear developments in the past two years that indicate a readiness to improve and a determination to achieve excellence in strategic planning. 

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California Public Employees' Retirement System


The Committee cited that:

Good lessons learned from previous strategy. Solid yet traditional approach to strategic planning, clear framework and presentation on process and methodology adopted. Good illustration of trade-offs yet not enough light on how competitive advantages are being leveraged.  Fair outcomes with the exception of risk where disruptors/threats are not fully discussed. Appropriate choice of performance metrics that drive responses within a well presented performance review structure. A sound communication of plan throughout the organization but not sure of the impact.

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Regional Municipality of York


The Committee cited that:

The Regional Municipality of York (York Region) presents a well-defined five-phase strategic planning process: 1) Gather Data, 2) Set Direction, 3) Develop, 4) Approve, and 5) Implement.  Although fairly traditions, the actions reflected in each of these steps represent a clear and defined path for creating a strong strategic plan.  Also, the strategic planning process uses a number of traditional strategic planning tools and techniques (e.g., PESTLE, SWOT, etc.) that have shown to be effective in York Region’s planning efforts. 

In addition, by adopting Results-Based Accountability, York Region demonstrates that they are serious about planning and taking action to solve problems and deliver benefit to the community. 

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Southern New Hampshire University


The Committee cited that:

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) presents a strategic plan with a clear direction based on five strategic commitments: 

·         Deliver a broad portfolio of high-demand credentials leading to meaningful work and purposeful lives

·         Provide the best and most personalized learner support in higher education

·         Attract, develop, empower, and retain world class talent to deliver on our mission

·         Deploy transformational technology to support next-generation learning on a global scale

·         Create the capacity and foundation on which to build the 2030 learning ecosystem

Elevating these from goals to strategic commitments was somewhat innovative, and reflects how important they are to obtaining the institution’s mission and vision.  

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2018 Winners


United States Government Accountability Office


The Committee cited that:

The GAO submission was well received by all the judges, with very good acknowledgement of the strategic planning process, the use of innovation and performance measurement. Recognition for industry and customer analysis was also positive. GAO has positioned strategic planning as one of its central management process, applying well-developed traditional approaches with a very high degree of competence. The strategic framework, comprising mission, values, goals, objectives, performance goals and key efforts is comprehensive, and logically links the findings of environmental scanning through to performance measures. The processes appear to be effective with the focus on results delivering returns that are well-presented. The overall commitment of GAO to professional strategic planning was considered to be impressive.

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Central Bank Dominican Republic

Central Bank Dominican Republic demonstrated enough maturity in their strategy formulation process over 3 consecutive planning cycles with a clear focus on the desired outcomes of each. Evidence of the use of a macro scanning tool PESTEL was demonstrated along with the analysis of the identified factors and the resulting strategies to cope with such factors. One of the most competent elements of this application was the degree of alignment between projects and desired strategic outcomes.

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2017 Winners


Mecklenburg County Government, North Carolina



The Committee cited that:


Judges found that the strategy was comprehensive, very well formulated, had a coherent and structured implementation process; thus, overall appeared to be well integrated conceptually.  The appropriate use of data generated by community and employees surveys in informing the planning and assessment was noteworthy. Several judges liked the efforts made to integrate the strategic plan with the business plan and budgeting process. Other features judges liked about the application: county’s assessment of its competitive environment, comprehensive goals, use of metrics to assess performance, accommodation of emerging issues (such as lowest mobility rate of kids among metropolitan areas in the country) into the plan, and development of plans at different levels. Evidence of effectiveness of the plan was helpful; thus, judges found that the plan appeared to be already producing positive results. Overall, the application and the plan were well organized.  

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Award Category: NON-PROFIT OR ACADEMIC ORGANIZATION (Honorable Mention)

Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools provided a very polished, well prepared application that was clear, comprehensive and coherent. The application indicated that the organization had conducted a very good environmental scan and analysis, developed a clear plan, and had made appropriate use of balanced scorecard. The institution’s strategy had clear goals, objectives, and action plans. Judges were impressed that the strategic plan was cognizant of the need to respond to the crisis in the School system. Recognizing the need to create a culture of trust, and developing actions to change the culture was a noteworthy feature of the plan. - RGA 2017 Committee


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Award Category: NON-PROFIT OR EDUCATION (Honorable Mention)

King Abdulaziz University


King Abdulaziz University (KAU) presented a clear strategic plan with a strong direction to their mission, “to advance the knowledge-based society through excellent and relevance in research, learning and social responsibility.”  The strategic planning cycle of four years provided them time for the plan to be fully developed and deployed, but is also short enough to reassess the environment, determine results and revise strategies.  - RGA 2017 Committee


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Award Category: GOVERNMENT, NON-NATIONAL (Honorable Mention)

General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs, Dubai


The submission for the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai was well received with very good acknowledgement of the strategic planning processes, innovation and performance measurement. The success of the GDRFA in achieving a wide range of international and regional awards and accreditation was considered particularly impressive. - RGA 2017 Committee


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2016 Winners


City of San Antonio's Aviation Department, San Antonio, TX


"The City of San Antonio - Aviation Department was selected for the Goodman Award because of its creative and realistic approach to strategic planning...Unlike so many reports or programs that are required by the government which are completed and then shelved, the applicant here utilized the mandated reporting and associated processes to drive its own analysis which then in turn drove change."


Ahmed Samy: Chairman, Richard Goodman Awards Committee – 2016

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Award Category: GOVERNMENT, NON-NATIONAL (Honorable Mention)

Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi, UAE

“Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority has a well-defined, systematic approach to strategic planning.  Of particular note is how they have synchronized alignment of their resources (e.g., human resources, information technology, etc.), and their extensive use of metrics to enable the execution and tracking of their strategy."

Ahmed Samy: Chairman, Richard Goodman Awards Committee – 2016


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Award Category: GOVERNMENT, NON-NATIONAL (Honorable Mention)

Hong Kong Police Force, Hong Kong


“The Hong Kong Police Force application document had a consistent structure with a very innovative approach of integration risk management into its strategic planning process. This integration was cited by the Committee as innovative and unique for which the Hong Kong Police Force was awarded an honorable recognition this year.”


Ahmed Samy: Chairman, Richard Goodman Awards Committee – 2016


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Emirates Identity Authority, Abu Dhabi, UAE


“While there were many aspects of their strategic plan that were commendable, their focus on strategic execution and their ability to demonstrate cause and effect between the strategic trade-offs and measurable results, particularly stood out.”


Sunny Kapoor: Chairman, Richard Goodman Awards Committee – 2014




Ministry of Education, Dubai, UAE


 Ministry of Education, Dubai


“We were particularly impressed with breadth of the external analysis conducted to inform the strategic choices by the Ministry of Education, Dubai. Their use of global benchmarking data to ascertain a current gap versus future trajectory was especially useful in framing of their strategic choices.”


Sunny Kapoor: Chairman, Richard Goodman Awards Committee – 2014


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Award Category: NON-PROFIT

College of DuPage, Illinois, USA

 College of DuPage, Illinois, USA


“The efficient approach to customer (and ecosystem) analysis to glean the most pressing areas of strategic focus was particularly exemplar about the strategic efforts of the College of DuPage. Their efforts showed clear evidence of (outcomes) where the strategic execution was moving the needle in a measurable fashion where it seemed to matter the most


Sunny Kapoor: Chairman, Richard Goodman Awards Committee – 2014


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City of Durham, Durham, NC

“The in-depth strategy formulation process - and the interdependency between the key strategic elements - was what impressed us most about the City of Durham. The results of the highly inclusive (diverse stakeholder inputs) process were particularly commendable given their resource constraints.”

Sunny Kapoor: Chairman, Richard Goodman Awards Committee – 2014

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Public Libraries Victoria Network Incorporated, Melbourne, Australia

Public Libraries Victoria Network


“The creative use of scenario-planning to depict (uncertain) future state of libraries was impressive. Clearly, VPLN is putting forward some exemplar thinking about the strategic implications of continuously evolving on-demand access to information and the resulting erosion of value-add delivered by the current state model of libraries.”

Sunny Kapoor: Chairman, Richard Goodman Awards Committee – 2014

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2013 Winner
Award Category: NON-PROFIT
San Diego Zoo Global

The San Diego Zoo Global's strategic planning process reflected attention to detail in the planning program with measurable successes, together with a program that appears well rooted in the culture of the organization, not an add-on. Of particular note is the San Diego Zoo's effective internal connectivity program, the "Lynx."


Congratulations San Diego Zoo Global for being a leading strategic planner! 

Beth Branning Receives Award
Beth Branning, Director of Vision, Innovation & Strategy, accepting the 2013 award on behalf of the San Diego Zoo Global at the 2013 Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA. At left is 2013 Goodman Award Chair John J. McGonagle.

2012 Winners

Award Category: GOVERNMENT
Dubai Airport Free Zone

Kennametal Inc.

The National Guard PEC

2011 Winners

Award Category: NON-PROFIT
Maryland Classical Youth Orchestra

American Eagle Federal Credit Union

US Army Corps of Engineers

Town of Richmond Hill


Dr. Ahmed Samy
Chair Richard Goodman Award
Director of the Strategy & Performance Department - Higher Colleges of Technology


Dr. Anil Nair
Professor and Chair - Department of Management
Strome College of Business, Old Dominion University
Senior Editor, Asia Pacific Journal of Management


Jim Bente
Vice President - Planning & Institutional Effectiveness
College of DuPage, Carnegie Mellon University


Graham Mitchelmore
Chief Superintendent - Performance Review Branch
Hong Kong Police Force


Dr. Leandro Pereira
CEO - Winning Scientific Management
Professor - ISCTE Business School
Director - Executive Master in Program and Project Management at INDEG
President - PMI Portugal Chapter


Dr. Sami Aldejwi
Director of the Strategic Planning Division
Head Management Department
College of Business Administration, Taibah University


 Saar Ben-Attar

Managing Partner
Ascentios Growth Partners


Each year, through the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning award, the ASP recognizes distinction in the practice of strategy within organizations that have demonstrated excellence in the design, application and innovation across the practice of strategy. A diverse committee of specialists in strategy and management are assembled as judges to review entries and select award finalists. 


Past chairs include:

Dr. John McGonagle, Managing Partner, Helicon Group
Sunny K. Kapoor, ThinkPartners, LLC

Below is a key excerpt from interviews with past chairs, Sunny K. Kapoor and John J. McGonagle:


ASP: Why is the Richard Goodman award so unique in the strategy domain?

John J. McGonagle
John: As far as I know, the Goodman Strategic Planning Award is unique in several ways. First, it awards innovation, not simply doing something well. Second, there is no requirement that the award be given every year. That means that the committee decides not only how well the candidate is doing, but whether it is truly the kind of strategic planning process and strategic managing process that should be held up to others as an example of best practices. Third, it takes into account the need for a candidate demonstrate an actual impact on the organization, not just a stylistically interesting process. And fourth, it gets into the nuts & bolts: it specifically asks how those conducting the strategic process collect data they use on their competitors, customers and others.
Sunny Kapoor 
Sunny: It is unique in that there is no similar award in the industry that recognizes successful application of exemplar strategic planning practices on an international basis. A Richard Goodman awardee may not have scored extraordinarily along ALL dimensions of strategy - but they would certainly have hit the KEY dimensions - ones most relevant to their organizations - out of the ballpark. Said differently, we look at a broad array - how an entity made strategic assumptions explicit, how it cascaded strategy into performance metrics, how the strategy was communicated, how it was translated into action, how it was made adaptive (e.g. addressing uncertainty) to rapid marketplace change, and the like - to measure the overall effectiveness of the strategy process in a firm. The award is unique in that it works best for organizations that seek breakthrough performance through strategy (vs. incrementalism).

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