Is your strategic plan organic or artificial

The issue

Many NGOs have research papers which they call strategic plans. If you disagree, get a copy of your ‘strategic plan document’ and open a page which defines clearly your strategy. if you find it, you are one of the very few NGOs and CBOs that are well governed.

Strategy is a choice an organization makes on how to win with customers and stakeholders against the competition. Unfortunately, many organizations do not make deliberate choices on how to win. Once they identify community needs, write a proposal that get funding, all they do is to get a document which they label a word “strategic” plan.   Such a document is needed so that they can be seen as being well governed. The result is a strategic document that is artificial. All you need to do is to remove the company name and replace with another organization’s and wala, it becomes a strategic plan for the new company.

If you research a lot, you have probably come across documents which have vision, mission, goals, objectives, SWOT analysis and the like. However, when you examine how the SWOT links to strategic choices, you cannot see it. The organization has a strategy, but all staff are worried about over reliance on donor funding! What kind of strategy is that?

The causes

Poor planning is a result of consultants using the traditional planning approach which has been widely taught in MBA classes. The process starts with reviewing and or defining the vision, then the mission, values, goals, objectives, undertaking internal (Strengths + Weakness) and external (Opportunity + Threats) analyses; thereafter defining choices, analyzing the choices based on costs, technical, environmental impact and capabilities and selecting the ideal choice and implementing.  The challenge with such an approach it was developed around the industrial revolution boom. It is not ideal in this technology age of web3.0, AI, big data and bitcoin! Technology is changing so fast that you cannot wait for 12 months to go to a drawing table. Times have changed. Your planning too, must evolve.

How to fix it

Use a planning approach that is ready for the new era. Visit www.summitcl.com/strategy to learn more.

 

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