Union Leadership - Strategic Planning


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  • This lesson presents Strategic Planning. This is a topic that historically seemed reserved for businesses and corporations but sometime around the mid 1990 ’s Strategic Planning entered the lexicon of labor unions, particularly at the International Union level. Unions, among others, such as the Communication Workers of America, Steelworkers Union, and the United Auto Workers are using strategic planning as a tool to build a stronger and more effective union. Strategic planning has also begun to filter to down to local unions as an instrument for long range planning. In this lesson you will see an actual mission statements created by a Teamsters and UFCW local union.   Strategic Planning is a step-by-step process that is used by an organization or business, but for our purpose the organization will be a union, to examine where the union is now in respect to its operational status and where it would like to be in the future. For instance if the union examines itself and finds that its membership is dissatisfied with negotiation outcomes, membership participation, contract administration, its community image, or other areas an opportunity for strategic planning presents itself, and, is most likely necessary.   Strategic Planning has different variations. These variations can be very complicated or basic, depending on the organization ’s choice and available resources. This lesson will introduce you to a basic process that is easier to understand and apply for this class.   This basic process includes the six essential elements, which will be discussed in detail later in this lesson.   Next will look at two quotes that concern planning.
  • I am sure that most students in this class have heard or used this statement, its origin from a quote by Benjamin Franklin. The quote states: “ By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”.   Another insightful comment, a Chinese proverb, states: “When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people”. Proverb, Chinese   In a recently book entitled The Labor Relations Process , published in 2008, the authors point out that unions for years have been reactive to management decisions with little concern for long term implications. It is also pointed out that for unions to survive they must develop strategic plan to address the internal and external environment that affects the union.   The quote by Benjamin Franklin and the Chinese proverb apply today just as they did 300-1000 years ago. Planning is essential if a union is to fulfill its vision, stay its course with its mission, and realize it goals and meets it objectives. Unions cannot fail, should not fail, and will not fail if it commits itself to strategic planning. Planning also involves education and as the Chinese proverb states in part, …"When planning for life, train and educate people ”. Unions are there to improve the lives of the people that it represents. It is essential unions train and educate its members. This should also be included in any strategic plan.  
  • Strategic plans do not need to complicated do be effective. It is essential that persons doing the planning, in the union ’s case normally the leadership, and the persons affected by the planning, the members, appreciate the importance, embrace the purpose and understand the essential elements of strategic planning.   A basic plan that we will be discussing in this lesson is known as GOST. This is simply an acronym that represents the essential elements of this type plan ’s components. The acronym contains four letters. The G represents goals, O is for objectives, S is represents strategies and T is for tactics. Thus you have GOSTS. There are two other elements but not contained in the acronym. They are the mission statement and issue statement.   We will examine each of the GOST elements in detail. Let ’s start with the Mission Statement.
  • Strategic planning is a disciplined procedure. It is a plan that will be used to direct and form what the union is, what it does, and why it does it. Strategic planning typically covers several years. It is a planning process that requires the union to examine itself and the environment in which it finds itself. Strategic planning assists the union to center its attention on the crucial issues and obstacles it faces. In short a strategic planning process will help the union have a clearer vision of what it is, what it does, and what challenges it faces. If the union and all of its stakeholders follow the plan it will enhance union performance.   The planning process begins by writing a mission statement. The mission statement is an action statement that combines the union ’s visions and beliefs. The mission statement will include who we are, who we serve, and what services we offer. The mission statement is more of a statement “What” than “How”. The how is included in other elements of strategic planning. A mission statement it is intended to pull the union forward to what the unions wants to be. The mission statement should tell everyone inside and outside of the union what the union is all about. The statement should contain the union’s core principles.   Next, we ’ll take a look at an actual mission statement of a union local.
  • Slide 5   This mission statement comes from a UFCW local. It states:   “ Our mission is to unify the workforce in order to show solidarity and protect traditional union values. We are dedicated to the education of our members and the improvement of our union. We believe in bargaining collectively to insure that all people are treated fairly and equally by establishing wages, benefits, job security, and working conditions equal to or higher than industry standards. By doing so, we will improve the standard of living for our families and our communities”.   This is an example of a well-articulated mission statement. It effectively includes the elements that we discussed in the last slide. It is a “what” statement and not a “how statement. It says whom the union serves, which is the members, families and communities. The statement includes the services that are offered which included collective bargaining and education. Perhaps it could have included contractual and legal enforcement. The statement combines vision with belief and, if implemented, will pull the union forward. Let ’s look at Teamsters local’s mission statement.
  • This Teamsters local ’s statement says the following:   “ Passionately providing a voice to its membership, the local empowers and unites workers. With integrity and an unwavering dedication to economic and social justice, we organize, educate, and lead collective and political action to protect and expand the rights, wages and benefits of the working families. This is your union”.   The statement is written differently than the UFCW but contains impressive language. The word “passionately” conveys this union local acts with emotion, enthusiasm and eagerness. The statement implies but does not specifically state who we are. It could have stated in its lead sentence.   “ We are Teamsters Local XXX, a proud labor union that passionately…..   The mission statement is clear in stating the services it offers. The statement undoubtedly tells who the union serves. It also includes the union ’s core principles and makes it clear to insiders and outsiders what this union is all about.   In our next slide we ’ll discuss the issue statement.
  • Strategic plans may contain more than one problem statement. Typically the problem statement names one problem at a time. Identifying a problem is pointing out the issues that inhibit the union from moving forward, in other words accomplishing its mission. This is another reason that a mission statement is so important. It is difficult to define the problem unless it has a logical relationship to the union ’s mission.   A good problem statement will identify the union ’s needs based on its current knowledge of the situation that is leading to or creating a problem. The statement will identify contributing factors and root causes of the problem. Identification of the problem is based on facts and not feelings.   The problem statement should be framed as either a lack of or too few of a positive condition. It can also be framed as too much of a negative condition.   In the next slide I ’ll illustrate a basic problem statement pertaining to collective bargaining.  
  • This is an example of a problem statement. The statement speaks for itself but nevertheless allow me to read it out loud.   This statement clearly identifies a problem. The problem as it relates to collective bargaining is the recent history of diminished outcomes. This situation has led to collateral problems that have resulted in declining membership support and participation. Now a catch-22 situation exists. Bargaining outcomes have been diminished resulting in poor membership participation and support. Declining membership support perpetuates diminished bargaining outcomes. The cycle will continue without a strategic plan.   This is situation is also an example of how the member ’s attitude towards the specific union affects their behavior. As a behavior, members are choosing not to participate. This in turn will reaffirm the attitude of the member already holding negative opinion towards unions in general.   Let ’s look at the second paragraph of this problem statement.
  • This is the second paragraph of the problem statement. It identifies the specific factors that have led to diminished bargaining outcomes. Because of the cause and effect more than one problem can be identified. Membership participation is a behavioral problem and membership support is an attitude problem. In this case the member ’s attitude has affected their participation, or should I say lack thereof. Their absence of participation is rooted in their negative attitude about the union’s collective bargaining performance. This situation reaffirms the need for strategic plan. If you were to use either mission statement presented earlier you would determine the union, in framing and defining the problem, is not on course and moving forward in accordance with its mission. Next we will look at the first element of GOST, Goal.      
  • A goal is simply something the union will strive to achieve. A goal is something you are trying to achieve in general. In comparison an objective is something that is to be accomplished specifically. For example we are all familiar with goals. A goal can be to lose weight, This would be considered a general goal. But in order to be specific I need to also establish an objective. My objective could be to lose 20lbs by December 2010. Now I have a general goal and a specific objective. Just remember a goal is what you ’re trying to do generally, add an objective, and now you have what your trying to do specifically which can be measured. Most of us understand that goals are part of our lives, the business where we work, and the unions in which we belong. Just think of a goal as something we can do to change the current situation.   In the problem we just defined if the union is to move forward and change the situation a goal or goals should be set. Established goals are not achieved overnight.   As much as I would like to lose 20lbs overnight that is not realistically accomplished. Assuming I was to lose 2lbs a month this would require a 10 month period and there is always the possibility of setbacks during that 10 month period. It is no different with union goals. It takes time and it takes a plan and along the way adjustments are often required because unanticipated events or situations occur.   Think of a goal as a long-range purpose that requires 6 months to 3 years. Goals should address the needs of union. Goals are outcome and not process oriented. In other words a goal is not how the union will do something but where it wants to be in the future. Strategies and tactics are the how the union will accomplish its goals. Those elements will be discussed later.   The goal will clearly state, specific and desired results or changes that can be reasonably achieved at the defined conclusion of the plan. Next lets take a look at a goal statement.    
  • Using the problem statement you will see the example goal statement addresses the four specific factors that led to diminished bargaining outcomes, negative attitudes and withdrawal of membership participation. This goal statement is drafted to create a bargaining process that will address democracy, membership interests, research and preparation, and communication. These are goals that are to be achieved by December 2013 and are consistent with the example mission statements that were presented previously.
  • After setting a goal, specific objectives are developed. The objectives will guide the activities and set measurements to determine of we are meeting the established goal.   Objectives are the “How” we are going to go about achieving our goal. There is another acronym that I will now introduce you to which is called SMART.   SMART is a clever technique used to determine the timing, appropriateness and effectiveness of a particular objective. S-stands for specific, M-represents measurable, Actionable, R-is it realistic, and T-represents timely. As I present example objectives that may be used to achieve the goal that was stated in the last slide I will touch upon the SMART model more.   Let ’s look at few example objectives applied as they apply to our goal statement.
  • As you see, each objectives is a specific activity that includes a defined timeline to accomplish the objective. Each objective is considered a necessary activity in order to meet the goal of the union. Written objectives do not need to be written in complex terms. A short simple sentence will suffice. In each sentence it will state exactly what you will do and when it will be completed. You may use the SMART approach. This just another tool to use as a criteria in determining the usefulness of an objective idea that you consider. Each of objective should be scrutinized. This process know as the SMART method poses the following questions. Is the Objective stated specifically? In other words is it clear and unambiguous. Is it measurable? It is if you have defined what you are going to do and when you will do it by. It is actionable? Can it be done with the resources available, in the environment which exists and the timelines expected? It is realistic? Do you really expect that your proposed objective can be accomplished? Is it timely? Is this the time to work on your objective? Can it be done within the time limits set. If the answers seem to be no to the majority of the questions another objective should be considered towards obtaining your goal.
  • A strategy is the GOST element that is used to help the union achieve its objectives. Strategies are the general methods that will help the union achieve its objectives. Strategies are carried out through tactics, which are specific. Tactics will be discussed later. Strategies are the overall plan of how the union will achieve its goal and objectives. Strategies are a set of decisions that are made to best ensure accomplishment of the desired objectives. Lets use an example of a non-union setting in order to be a little less complicated. Let ’s use a very simple strategic plan applied to student education. A person ’s goal is to be very well educated. (This is a general goal) The person ’s objective is to earn a bachelor’s degree in labor studies by 2013. The person ’s objective may be to earn a master’s degree in labor studies by 2015. The person ’s strategy may be to attend community college and earn an associates degree and then transfer to a public university to earn their bachelor’s degree. Their next strategy will be to seek admission and acceptance at a private university that offers a masters in labor studies since their current college does not. These examples demonstrate two strategies to fulfill the person ’s overall goal and specific objectives. Each strategy is generally stated. It does not contain the specific tactic that will be used to carry out the strategy. Remember that strategies are used to fulfill the objectives. Next will look at example strategies that apply to the union ’s objectives .
  • As you recall a part of the unions goal is to include the union members in the bargaining process. The intent of goal is ensure that needs and interests of the members are discovered, considered and included in the bargaining efforts. One objective that was created is the union will complete a survey of the members ’ collective needs and interests and compile the results by 10/30/2012. The objective is specific as to what is to be accomplished and when it will be accomplished but it does not address the strategy that will be used to see that the objective is achieved. This is where the strategy comes in. Strategies are the approaches that will be used. Strategies are not specific. For this objective a simple broad based strategy is established to meet the objective. The strategy requires a survey be created, distributed, collected, and compiled. The strategy when carried out through specific tactics will fulfill the objective. The strategy does not explain what key activities will used, whom will do the work, what the survey will contain, or when the survey activities will be acted on. These specific actions are not included as part of the strategy element. The latter questions would be answered by tactics Keep in mind that an objective is a static event. A strategy is an active event, as is a tactic. Obviously if if an objective is to carried out something has to be done and somebody needs to do it. The details and specifics of how it will be done is the next step. These are are tactics. Let ’s take at look at this final element.
  • As we just discussed strategies are the broadly based plans that are used to carry out the objectives. Strategies do not contain the specifics of how the objectives will be achieved. These would be the Tactics. Tactics are the GOST element that contains specific information about how the strategy will be carried out. The relationship between strategies and tactics are direct while the relationship between tactics and goals and objectives are indirect. The tactics fulfill the strategy and strategy helps achieve the objective. Accomplishing the objectives in turn helps achieve the goal. Just think of tactics as being specific and detailed. Tactics are detailed “how to” of the strategic planning process. Tactics provides the key information about how the strategy will be carried out. The tactics will tell you the specifics. Let ’s look at an example of tactics that will be used to carry out a strategy.
  • In this example tactics are created to carry out the strategy. The strategy as you recall is broad in statement. It does not contain specific detail. The strategy called for the creation, distribution, collection, compilation and release of the survey. To get this done requires tactics. Tactics will determine who is responsible, what specifically needs to be done, and when it needs to done. In this scenario, a survey needed to be created. Why because you can ’t meet your objective if you have an instrument to determine the interests and priorities of the members. In this case it is survey that is used. The negotiation committee is charged with creating the document and the it must be completed by 9/1. The stewards were designated to distribute the survey by 9/15. The stewards were also responsible for collecting the survey by 9/30. Now remember our objective has a time bound obligation by 10/31. So our tactics are so far on schedule. The surveys require compiling, in other words, collecting the data. We don’t know what the members collective need unless the results are compiled. This due date is 10/15. Assuming we are on time the negotiations committee has a full 16 days to mail the survey to the members. The completion of these tactics have directly fulfilled the strategy, indirectly assisted with meeting the objective and indirectly contributed towards the achieving the goal. Again, remember the tactics were directly developed to carry out the strategy element. The tactics are not created to directly fulfill the goal and objective elements.
  • Using the mini-strategic example presented in this presentation you can see the plan moves the union forward, not backward toward, its mission and its goal. The goal seeks change in the collective bargaining process. Among other purposes it is intended to open the doors to the members, offer involvement, communication, and opportunity for participation. Our example objective called for surveying members interests by October 31. Then a strategy was created to fulfill the objective. The strategy was for the union to create, distribute, collect, compile and then release the survey results to the members. Tactics were carried out by identifying what would done, who would do it, and when each tactic would be completed. The series of systemic tactics completed in a timely manner guaranteed the relative strategy would be fulfilled. Our process was directional. Our mission statement was our guide. It served as our course direction. The problem statement indicates where we are, why we ’re there, the impacts of being there, and the root causes of the problem. A problem statement will lead you to the conclusion it’s not a place to be and it’s time to move on. To move on we set a goal. Our goal was among other things, to include the members in the process. So we established a few objectives to see that would be the case. But we needed a strategy to include the members in the process. One strategy was to include them in the survey process but that was not enough we needed to see that the strategies were acted on and carried out. So we created a specific process for that and we called them tactics. Well the survey was created by negotiation committee, distributed and collected by the stewards, the results were complied by the committee, and the results and findings were mailed out to all union members. We met our objective on time, made a significant contribution towards meeting out total goal, and pointed and moved our union forward in the spirit of our mission statement.
  • Union Leadership - Strategic Planning

    1. 1. Strategic Planning LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    2. 2. Planning Quotes <ul><li>“ By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”. </li></ul><ul><li>Benjamin Franklin </li></ul><ul><li>American Scientist, Publisher, Diplomat </li></ul><ul><li>1706-1790 </li></ul><ul><li>“ When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people”. Proverb, Chinese </li></ul>LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    3. 3. <ul><li>GOST – basic but effective strategic plan </li></ul><ul><li>GOST is an Acronym </li></ul><ul><li>G for Goals </li></ul><ul><li>O for Objective </li></ul><ul><li>S for Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>T for tactics </li></ul>Strategic Plan - GOST LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    4. 4. <ul><li>Strategic plans direct and form organization </li></ul><ul><li>Plan contains a mission statement </li></ul><ul><li>Answers: who we are, who we serve, what services </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of more of “what” that “how” </li></ul><ul><li>Intent to pull the union forward </li></ul><ul><li>Should tell everyone what the union is all about </li></ul>Mission Statement LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    5. 5. Mission Statement Example 1 LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker Our mission is to unify the workforce in order to show solidarity and protect traditional union values. We are dedicated to the education of our members and the improvement of our union. We believe in bargaining collectively to insure that all people are treated fairly and equally by establishing wages, benefits, job security, and working conditions equal to or higher than industry standards. By doing so, we will improve the standard of living for our families, and our communities. UFCW Local
    6. 6. Mission Statement Example 2 LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker Passionately providing a voice to its membership, the local empowers and unites workers. With integrity and an unwavering dedication to economic and social justice, we organize, educate, and lead collective and political action to protect and expand the rights, wages and benefits of working families. This is your Union. Teamsters Local
    7. 7. <ul><li>Names one problem at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Points out issues inhibiting forward movement </li></ul><ul><li>Problem has a logical relationship to miss </li></ul><ul><li>Based on current knowledge, factors, root causes </li></ul><ul><li>Based on facts not feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Framed as lack of positive or too negative condition </li></ul>Problem Statement LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    8. 8. Example: Paragraph One LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    9. 9. Paragraph 2 LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    10. 10. <ul><li>Goal simply something union wants to achieve </li></ul><ul><li>Change in the current situation </li></ul><ul><li>Achieving goals takes time 6 months-3 year </li></ul><ul><li>Goals are outcomes not a process </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly states desired results </li></ul>Goal Element LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    11. 11. Goal Statement LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker XXXX 2013
    12. 12. <ul><li>After goals specific objectives are developed </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives guide activities and set measurement </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives are the “how’ are we going to achieve goal </li></ul><ul><li>S.M.A.R.T. is a criteria used for determining objectives </li></ul><ul><li>S.M.A.R. T. may also be applied to goals </li></ul>Objective Element LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    13. 13. Example Objectives LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker XXXX 2012 XXXX 2012 XXXX 2012 XXXX 2012 XXXX 2013 XXXX 2013
    14. 14. <ul><li>Strategies are the general methods to achieve objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies are the overall plan </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies are set of decisions to ensure goals reached </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies are achieved through tactics </li></ul>Strategy Element LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    15. 15. <ul><li>Using Objective 3 which stated: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The union will complete survey of members ’ collective needs and interests and compile results by 10/30/2009. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strategy 1: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create, distribute, collect and compile survey </li></ul></ul>Strategic Example LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    16. 16. <ul><li>Tactics are the actual ways to execute strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Tactics and strategies are directly related to each other </li></ul><ul><li>Tactics are indirectly related to goals and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Tactics provide key information </li></ul>Tactic Element LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    17. 17. <ul><li>Strategy 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create, distribute, collect , compile and release survey </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tactics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiation committee will create survey by 9/1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stewards will hand distribute survey to all members by 9/15 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stewards will collect surveys by 9/30 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiation committee will compile survey results by 10/15 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiation Committee will mail survey results to all members by 10/28 </li></ul></ul>Tactic Example LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker
    18. 18. Basic Strategic Plan LS-13 Strategic Planning/LATTC/Walker Goals Problem Statement Mission Statement Objectives Strategies Tactics