Strategic planning that works


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What is strategic planning? What makes strategic planning effective? How do I think strategically? In this slideshow, Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, President of Cause & Effect Inc. shares tips for creating a strategic plan that doesn't sit on a shelf.

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Strategic planning that works

  1. 1. Strategic Planning That Works Part One: Overview
  2. 2. “Most of our problems upon this planet .. Have been met and solved either partially or as a whole by experiment based on common sense and carried out with courage.” Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1st woman appointed to a US presidential cabinet2 Cause & Effect Inc.
  3. 3. Topics What it is What’s involved The five elements of strategic thinking A look at a few cases Cause & Effect Inc.3
  4. 4. Other  This is a taste, not the whole meal  Ask questions4 Cause & Effect Inc.
  5. 5. What is Strategic Planning?  Strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. (From Alliance for Nonprofit Management adapted from Brysons Strategic Planning in Public and Nonprofit Organizations)5 Cause & Effect Inc.
  6. 6. Classic Strategic Plan  Mission: Purpose  Vision: Transformational aspiration  Values: Guidelines for behavior and decisions  Organizational Profile & History  Critical Issues and Strategies  Service/program Goals and Objectives  Management Goals and Objectives  Critical Benchmarks  Budget and Revenue Forecasts6 Cause & Effect Inc.
  7. 7. Classic Planning Process 1. Get Ready 2. Articulate the Mission, Vision and Values 3. Assess your current situation 4. Develop Strategies, Goals and Objectives 5. Create the Written Plan7 Cause & Effect Inc.
  8. 8. Another way to view the process 1. Get ready 2. Identify starting assumptions 3. Conduct research 4. Digest and Analyze 5. Make decisions 6. Plan for implementation 7. Analyze and adjust8 Cause & Effect Inc.
  9. 9. Strategic vs. Long Range Planning What’s the difference?  Long Range Planning – Future is sufficiently reliable to develop a methodical plan of action  Strategic Planning – Future is dynamic and often unpredictable – Need to grasp an understanding of the changes and create the flexibility to respond9 Cause & Effect Inc.
  10. 10. But what is “strategy?”  A strategy is typically an idea that distinguishes a course of action by its hypothesis that a certain future position offers an advantage for acquiring some designated gain. -- wikipedia10 Cause & Effect Inc.
  11. 11. At the heart of strategic planning is STRATEGIC THINKING11 Cause & Effect Inc.
  12. 12. What is Strategic Thinking? A way of thinking that includes five elements: 1. Systems Perspective 2. Intent Focus 3. Intelligent Opportunism 4. Thinking in time 5. Hypothesis driven Jeanne Liedtka, Executive Director, Batten Institute, University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, formerly with Boston Consulting Group12 Cause & Effect Inc.
  13. 13. 1. Systems Perspective Used with permission of its creator, Thomas Mandle13 Cause & Effect Inc.
  14. 14.  Think “ecosystem”  Consider Mental Models  What are your Interdependencies?  Look inside and without  Where do you Cooperate? Compete?  Geographic14 Cause & Effect Inc.
  15. 15. What’s in your system?15 Cause & Effect Inc.
  16. 16. Systems Analysis (research)  Gather data: community, clients, demographics  History  Focus groups, surveys, etc  Key informant interviews  SWOT, Assets/Needs, internal and external  Environment: e.g. social & cultural, legal & political, environmental, competitive, technological  Benchmark16 Cause & Effect Inc.
  17. 17. 2. Intent-focused & intent driven  Direction, discovery, destiny  VISION – Directional – Aspirational – Emotional – Sizeable stretch17 Cause & Effect Inc.
  18. 18. Two-sides of a Nonprofit’s Vision  Societal Vision: – Clean and healthy bay that people cherish and enjoy  Organizational Vision – Dynamic, responsive environmental advocacy organization, with the political clout and financial vibrancy that comes from widespread community support18 Cause & Effect Inc.
  19. 19. 3. Intelligent Opportunism  Openness to new experience  Requires input from all levels  Emergent strategy  Evolving19 Cause & Effect Inc.
  20. 20. From Margaret Wheatly Leadership and the New Science “Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid open boundaries. “Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren’t there before.”20 Cause & Effect Inc.
  21. 21. 4. Thinking in Time “Having seen the future that we want to create, what must we keep from the past, lose from the past and create in the present to get there?” Charles Handy, author of Age of Unreason and Age of Paradox21 Cause & Effect Inc.
  22. 22. 5. Hypothesis Driven  Hypothesis Generation – What if...?  Hypothesis Testing – If ... Then  Includes inductive, deductive and abductive reasoning  Creative and critical22 Cause & Effect Inc.
  23. 23. Ultimately, Strategic Thinking is a desired way of being  Embedded throughout the organization  Next actions captured in strategic planning23 Cause & Effect Inc.
  24. 24. Strategic plans are guaranteed to sit on the shelf when they fail to integrate ongoing strategic thinking24 Cause & Effect Inc.
  25. 25. Strategy Making: Liedtka Strategic Thinking: Disrupting Alignment Current Desired Reality Future Strategic Planning: Creating Alignment25 Cause & Effect Inc.
  26. 26. Leaders and Strategists see BIG PICTURE OPERATIONAL IMPLICATIONS26 Cause & Effect Inc.
  27. 27. Making mindful change  Focus is power  Expectation shapes reality  Change is painful27 Cause & Effect Inc.
  28. 28. What strategic planning is not  An attempt to make future decisions – All decisions are made in the present – They are the best action at this point in time & under these circumstances  Linear & Fixed – Systemic, circles back, may feel like a roller coaster – Constantly in need of reevaluation28 Cause & Effect Inc.
  29. 29. CASES29 Cause & Effect Inc.
  30. 30. Land Trust: 1999 plan In first 10 years: Strategic Plan Decisions  Slowly preserved 300 acres of  Set real objectives for acres of land land saved  Strategy to hire Executive  Success measured in members Director who could raise and community awareness significant funds and get  Volunteers & 2 part time staff properties saved  Given large grant & told “to do something” TODAY  1,855 acres under their protection, 4,424 total acres among all agencies  Highly respected, professional land trust providing support to other local trusts30 Cause & Effect Inc.
  31. 31. Community Development Corporation: 2005 Situation Strategic Planning  27 years old  Process mattered –  Shifting focus from housing to lead  Created alignment on mission, vision, paint removal to microenterprise to constituents, programs, values, critical assumptions, livable neighborhood housing, driven by funding criteria  Most recent Executive Director had  Created measurable goals & objectives alienated many of the key players in  Executive director left community – unable to access Results needed capital funds for housing  New ex. director + new staff  Significant property acquisition  Dramatic shift community perceptions without funding to pay for it  Completed phase one of neighborhood  About five board members project to community accolades remaining  Expanded include neighborhood organizing  Grew the board  Discussing strategic partnerships and possible mergers31 Cause & Effect Inc.
  32. 32. Latino Service Organization Situation Strategic Plan Process  Grew from small neighborhood  Engaged key audiences: staff, advocacy organization to $1.1 board, funders, providers, clients million social service provider in  Created community outcomes: literacy, health, child care, youth direct services, behavioral change programming – state funding and systems change dependent  Built ownership by getting feedback  Executive Director led, uninvolved & next steps with stakeholders board  Approved by Board & embraced  Experienced funding ups and with excitement by community downs, major community foundation foundation grant for Executive  Started gap analysis to begin Director position running out internal alignment WHEN...32 Cause & Effect Inc.
  33. 33. Latino Service Organization (continued)  Executive Director resigned  Board faced with large funding gap, by emergency furnace replacement, loss of some state funding  Led to major staff layoffs  New Executive Director hired  Strategic Plan abandoned33 Cause & Effect Inc.
  34. 34. Moral For strategic planning to work,  You need a compelling vision of change  The way  The will  AND the leadership to make it happen34 Cause & Effect Inc.
  35. 35. Courage The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethes couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! By W.H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951):35 Cause & Effect Inc.
  36. 36. QUESTIONS?36 Cause & Effect Inc.
  37. 37. Thank you Part Two: Tools, Tips and Solutions37 Cause & Effect Inc.
  38. 38. Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE  President of Cause & Effect Inc, Gayle is a respected consultant, provocative writer, and creative strategist with a lifetime of experience working, volunteering, & consulting in the nonprofit sector.  Gayle is the author How to make your board dramatically more effective, starting today and, Meaningful Participation, an activist’s guide to collaborative policy making and co-author of Bringing a Development Director on Board.  Gayle holds the advanced fundraising credential ACFRE. She has an M.S. in organization and management from Antioch University New England. She has taught at Simmons College in the Masters in Communications Management and teaches at Brown University in the Masters in Public Humanities and Cultural Studies program.38 Cause & Effect Inc.
  39. 39. Cause & Effect Inc. can help you make a difference in the world by creating the internal change that will strengthen your governance, improve your programming, build stronger relationships with your constituencies, or boost your revenues. We’ll work with you on Board development and training, organizational development, strategic planning, group facilitation, public engagement, program development, organizational communications or fundraising. Contact us at: 401.331.2272, or Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE or Jonathan W. Howard39 Cause & Effect Inc.