Several years ago I was awestruck by the bold vision of Wellington’s Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. Their strategic plan has a 500-year time frame. This is, of course, entirely appropriate when you’re seeking to restore a landlocked “island” to its natural state. Setting an inspirational vision—and in time achieving it—requires a deep knowledge of the business, a clarity of purpose and well-articulated values that guide the collective endeavour.
2009 is the 75th anniversary for the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER). Our business would not be well served by a strategic plan with a 500-year time frame. However, being clear about our vision, our purpose and our values is essential if we are to make a unique and useful contribution to New Zealand education today and into the future. Reaching the 75th milestone gave us good reason to revisit our past.