UTPA's strategic planning seminar targets future thinking groups
Posted: 07/07/2010
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As the business, government and nonprofit sectors become increasingly competitive, developing a strategic approach to getting things done becomes more critical. To meet that need, The University of Texas-Pan American's Office of Continuing Education will hold a strategic planning seminar in August 2010.

Arnoldo Mata, owner of Leadership Resource Group, will serve as instructor at UTPA's strategic planning seminar planned for August 2010. The course is offered by UTPA's Office of Continuing Education.

The four-week course, "Strategic Planning for The New Economy: Developing Effective Strategic Plans for Organizations of Any Size," will meet once a week starting Wednesday, Aug. 4 from 9-11:30 a.m. The course will be held at the UTPA McAllen Teaching Site, 1800 S. Main Street, Suite 1100, McAllen.

What is the most valued skill that top companies look for in a leader? According to Bloomberg's, it's strategic thinking. Earlier this year, Bloomberg and the Hay Group released their annual list of "Best Companies for Leadership." Among other things, the survey asked what skills the companies valued the most. The top 20 companies valued strategic thinking (67.6 percent) above execution (47.6 percent), inspiring leadership (37 percent), decision making (31.5 percent), and even teamwork (31 percent). Strategic thinking also took the top spot (59.3 percent) among all the companies surveyed.

The course will be taught by Arnoldo Mata, owner of Leadership Resource Group, a leadership development and strategic planning firm. For the past 20 years, Mata has provided strategic planning services to a number of businesses and nonprofit groups, including 18 years as the lead trainer for Leadership Pharr and 10 years as director of the kick-off retreat for the Leadership Edinburg Program. He also provides personal coaching services to individuals and grant writing skills to educational institutions, government entities and nonprofit groups.

"Strategic planning enables an organization to shape and guide its overall objectives" Mata said. "Whether it's a business, government agency, nonprofit organization, church or just a community group, strategic planning helps them figure where they want to go and how they plan to get there. It's a critical step for every organization. It is one that successful organizations pay attention to."

According to Mata, going through a strategic planning process helps organizations see where they are doing well and where they need to improve, as well as what they may want to add or get rid of. Developing an organization's mission also helps employees understand how they fit into the organization and how important they are to the group's success, Mata says.

Visit UTPA's Office of Continuing Education at for registration information and course description or call 956/665-2071 for questions.