Galvin and Associates

Posts Tagged "Strategic planning"

The problem with written strategic plans is that usually there is not much real strategy in them. This is true even of large ministry organizations with strong management. Some organizations have plans that are hopelessly out of date. Some have written strategic plans that nobody bothers to review. Others have detailed plans that are nothing more than a long list of goals and objectives. What is your strategy?

Almost every organization uses a template to guide their strategic planning process. There are many different templates out there and they usually include items like:
• Mission
• Vision
• Values
• Key Result Areas/Key Initiatives
• Measures/Targets
• Goals/Objectives
• Tasks/Activities/Projects

And when a planning group is all done and the strategic plan is written, what exactly is the strategy? Can you briefly and simply explain your organizational strategy?

The problem with strategic plans is that templates don’t work. Even the better ones have an empty space that is labeled “insert your strategy here.” But what if you are uncertain about what should be your strategy?

A recent book by Richard P. Rumelt titled Good Strategy Bad Strategy suggests that every organization has to get the “kernel” of their strategy right before moving ahead with developing detailed plans. The kernel of any strategy must include:
• Threats in the environment (to the organization or its mission)
• Guiding policy (or strategic direction)
• A coordinated set of key initiatives (to implement the policy)

This kernel is the missing ingredient in most strategic plans. A strategy is a cohesive response to adapt to changing conditions in the relevant environment. If your plan already has a strategy clearly spelled out, good going! If not, pull a group of staff or board members together to start talking about it. Don’t stop meeting until you can articulate a clear strategy that makes sense to everyone.