CEE - Courses - Spear Main Content

Strategic Planning for Execution: Assessment and Risk (SPEAR)

The Course

The Strategic Planning for Executive: Assessment & Risk (SPEAR) Workshop is an interactive, results-oriented team-based guided workshop. It is designed to assists Commanders and their executive teams in the development and execution of a mission-critical strategic planning process. This strategic process helps accentuate a command’s strategic value, maximize Navy resources, target specific objectives, identify, and assess outcomes, and mitigate risk. Teams learn from Naval Postgraduate School faculty, who know best practices and have proven, practical experience working with numerous Navy commands, major corporations, and other government organizations. Each team is assigned a professional facilitator to guide them through the process and help translate the concepts to the strategic needs of a particular command.

Team-based Perspective

SPEAR is a taught from a customer-value perspective to ensure the benefits of strategic outcomes. To provide command-wide strategic relevance a diversity of perspectives from across the command should be represented by the participating team members. The team-based learning model provides a forum for leaders across the command to work through competing strategic needs and resource tradeoffs. We encourage teams of 6-10 participants to provide a broad perspective that encompasses the commands breadth of work. Team members should be prepared to focus their time and expertise both during the workshop and afterwards in the development of an effective, command strategy.

Workshop Objectives:

• Clearly define an effective, actionable mission

• Identify strategic capabilities

• Assess internal/external factors

• Set measures of effectiveness

• Decide most important priorities

• Manage risk mitigation

• Define measurable objectives

• Develop strategy leadership skills

Questions to Be Addressed during the Workshop

  • Have you clearly defined your mission, and is it understood throughout the command?
  • How will emerging internal and external changes impact your strategic plans?
  • What are the most important objectives for your command to achieve?
  • What distinctive capabilities position your command for sustained high performance?
  • How do you assess your objectives and select metrics that assure intended results?
  • What risks are associated with your plans, and how do you mitigate risk?
  • Are you maximizing your organizational leadership capabilities to gain support and resources for your strategic initiative?

Program Manager

Ann Gallenson

Ann Gallenson is a Program Manager, Lecturer, Workshop Facilitator, and Researcher for the Center for Executive Education (CEE) at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Ann’s NPS teaching and research directions focus on strategic organizational design and development. For CEE she facilitates and codesigns strategy, leadership, and design workshops for senior leaders and their executive teams.

Ann’s NPS research work begins with emerging environmental, process, or technological trends to help identify areas to create new capabilities and organizational change to maintain relevancy and prosper. In this capacity she has worked with policy and battery experts at the OUSD Industrial Policy to craft an advanced battery policy as a complex adaptive system to betternavigate global supply chains and shifting economic landscapes. Other research includes Navy Acquisition research exposing the risks imposed by mounting computer technical debt in warfighting systems, and using an oral history to document how the USMC integrates its reservists into warfighting components.

Formally trained in genetics, mathematics, and design, Ann’s ability to create synergies between technical and business trends provides the basis for the consulting corporation she has led for twenty-eight years. In this capacity she helped create immersive learning software for college and graduate level courses. Her work expanded into organizational develop and change through market shifts accelerated by rapid computer software innovations and economic globalization. Read full bio...

The Faculty

Academic experts from the faculty at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School are joined by senior executives from the Navy to provide participants with a range of perspectives through which course objectives are addressed. Faculty are committed to providing support throughout the lifecycle of team efforts and are available to consult post-course to ensure continuity of effort as teams continue their work beyond the workshop.

The Location

The SPEAR is conducted in the spaces of the Center for Executive Education on the campus of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California or in designated Fleet concentration locations, as designated in our main webpage. If at NPS, lodging is available on-base at the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites in historic Herrmann Hall.

Who Should Attend?

We recommend sending teams of at least 3-5, led by a Flag Officer, SES, or O-6. The SPEAR goal is for each team to strengthen their organization's strategic planning process with attention to desired outcomes, metric selection and risk management. The workshop is effectively a structured and facilitated off-site for senior leadership and staff to focus on advancing their command's effectiveness to accomplish key strategic goals. Each participating team can take away from the SPEAR workshop an improved strategic plan and assessment with clear, measurable objectives that enable all levels of the command to align their decisions and actions to achieve organizational success.

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Quotas are managed by the NPS CEE Registrar: 831-656-3850 or