Streamlined Strategic Planning

A New Paradigm
This approach represents a new way of thinking about how plans are developed and managed. Instead of a 100-page plan stuck in a binder on someone’s shelf, an ActionStrategy is an online, one or two-page plan and performance management system. As Brian Chesney, CEO of Airbnb wrote about their business plan. 

"If you can't fit it on a page, you're not simplifying it enough. “


As the name implies, an ActionStrategy is an integrated strategy and implementation plan. The ActionStrategy system provides leaders the flexibility to dynamically adjust the planning and implementation process and track progress and results. This approach integrates the disciplines associated with team and organizational improvement including:

• Strategic planning
• Leadership and team development
• Scorecard development
• Organizational development
• Project and grant management
• Leadership and team coaching.

The starting point for good strategy is not goal setting, it is Strategic Thinking. A good strategist starts with identifying the key issues (problems and opportunities) that need to be addressed by the strategic plan. As Richard Rumelt, the author of “Good Strategy/Bad Strategy” stated:

“Bad strategy tends to skip over pesky details such as problems.”

Strategic Questions - your team should begin by asking questions like:

• Who are our stakeholders and what is most important to them?
• What are our internal strengths, challenges and opportunities?
• What are our biggest external opportunities and threats?
• How do we generate revenue in the coming year(s)? What is our financial model?
• Do we have the organizational capability to address these issues? If not, how will we develop organizational capacity?
• How do we fully utilize our existing and potential assets (people, partnerships, resources, facilities, etc.)
• What do we anticipate will require our attention in 3- 6 months, 1 year, 2-3 years?
There is tremendous value in the dialogue that results from introducing these questions into a team discussion. Essentially, your plan documents your answers to these questions. It clarifies how your organization is going to work together to address these issues and capitalize on opportunities.
Strategic Thinking Tools
There are other powerful assessment tools that can be utilized during the Strategic Thinking phase:
• Stakeholder Assessment – gather stakeholder feedback regarding needs
• Organizational Capacity Assessment – click here for a sample assessment
• Self-Assessment – based on the key roles of an effective governing body
• PEST Analysis – Environmental analysis of Political, Economic, Social and Technology trends
• Asset Mapping – Identify and develop strategies to improve asset utilization
• Strategic Partnerships – Leverage relationships with people and organizations with similar missions
• Financial and Program Audits – Professional reviews of financial health and program systems