Create a Dynamic Strategic Plan...
"Why not be bold?
Reach for the stars. You’ll grab a few."
The Strategic Plan is the Glue…
That Bonds Mission, Vision, and Action. Everything Else Follows.
#1: Base your Vision on your past successes.
We challenge organizations to ask themselves: “What are all the things we’ve done well in the past that reflect our ‘best’?” Then, we help you build a plan on the characteristics that define those successes. This approach does not ignore weaknesses or challenges, but rather focuses on the Positives. Strategic Planning comes around every 3-5 years.
At the end of the day, we believe that non-profit agencies should do what they do well. Just do more of it.
#2: Don’t be afraid to make hard decisions on Programs
We all have a tendency to avoid ending a weak program, one that might be draining the agency of resources. On the one hand, we don’t want to lose one penny of funding. On the other, we have hopes that maybe, somehow, things will turn around. A year or more later, nothing has changed, except that more resources, both tangible and intangible, have been depleted.
At the end of the day, it’s just as important to stop doing what’s not going well!
#3: Solicit input from all levels of the organization…and listen to it.
Too often, Strategic Plans are based primarily on input from Senior Management and the Board of Directors. Important Funders may also be involved. Even if mid and lower level staff are interviewed, their opinions may be given less weight. Other stakeholders may be completely ignored. Our approach incorporates input from all levels. At times, insights from the people on the ground will drive key aspects of the plan. An added benefit, of course, is improved morale.
#4:Use the Plan!
Don’t let the planning process be the end of the assignment. The best laid plans often gather dust as the day-to-day pressures of running an organization supersede the ability to truly implement the components of the Plan. Then, at annual review or board retreat, it’s catch-up time. The organization is disrupted as everyone tries to execute 12 months of plans in 2 weeks. Our Strategic Plan proposal includes a follow-up phase, where we work with the Executive Director to help put into action the agency’s best laid plans.