Use Your Strategic Plan Like It’s Your Budget!

Strategic plans have a lot in common with budgets. They are both plans for the future that outline some expectations. But few organizations hold themselves accountable to the goals in their strategic plans the same way they do with budgets. I think they are equally as important to your future success.

I’ve seen a lot of strategic plans over the years. I’ve been involved in facilitating the development of more than a dozen of them just in the last few years. Although I’ve gotten better at helping to create them, it requires a lot of time and effort to build a process and format that will meet the specific needs of each individual client. I’ve also learned that although the strategic directions or goals chosen by organizations often fall along similar lines, no two plans are alike and the path to achieving a particular direction or goal can be dramatically different. Most importantly, I’ve learned that a failure to develop a detailed plan that outlines how your organization will achieve its goals or directions and a willingness to regularly monitor progress too often ends in lack-luster results. Or even no results. [Read more…]

Is Organizational Alignment Necessary for Success?

Creating organizational alignment. It’s the stuff of awesome posters with images of rowers all pulling with perfect precision towards the finish line. It’s the holy grail of organizational strategic development work. I’ve been among the apostles believing that a key to success for organizations delivering human services is creating a high degree of alignment around a mission or a set of common goals. In fact, I’m a fan (and user) of the Balanced Scorecard approach for organizational planning which is all about alignment. But it’s much easier said than done. And to what degree is it necessary? There is some evidence to suggest that, although some degree of alignment is necessary, a high degree of alignment doesn’t actually distinguish the good from the great when it comes to human services agencies. [Read more…]

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