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Advice from Outside the Square

Category Archives: Strategic Planning

How To Write Your Not-For-Profit Strategic Plan

There is broad agreement among not-for-profit leaders and experts that planning is a critical component of good management and governance. Planning helps ensure that an organisation remains relevant and responsive to the needs of its community, and contributes to organisational stability and growth. It provides a basis for monitoring progress, and for assessing results and impact. It facilitates new program development. It enables an organisation to look into the future in an orderly and systematic way. From a governance perspective, it enables the Board to set policies and goals to guide the organisation and provides a clear focus to the Executive Director and staff for program implementation and agency management. Most organisations understand the need for annual program objectives and a program-focused work plan. Funders require them, and they provide a basis for setting priorities, organizing work, and assessing progress. A growing number of community-based organisations go beyond funder requirements to develop annual objectives and operating plans which also include a systematic plan for resource development, organisational development, and in some cases Board development. Most groups find it practical to define objectives for a 12-month period, and to design strategies and programs to meet them. Longer-range planning – planning beyond the next...
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Using KSI’s In An Indigenous Corporation

What are KSI's? Before I answer that question, what I really want to discuss is how you choose the right strategies when you are planning. You’ve probably taken some time off and wrote your Vision, Mission and Values Statement; you’ve probably brainstormed your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and worked out your goals for the year. But now, how do you choose between all the ideas to find the most critical strategies? That’s where your KSI’s come in. "KSI" stands for Key Strategic Issues. They are “Key” because the particular issue is key to your strategic plan’s success. Your plan may have to deal with a lot of issues, but "Key" strategic issues are those that must be dealt with in order for the rest of the plan to be achievable. For example, if you plan to introduce new services, while you may have to contend with issues such as hiring new staff and finding physical office space, a "Key" issue may be obtaining funding. Without funding, you cannot do all those other things you need to do in order to introduce the new services. They are “Strategic” because they are big-picture issues that sit on top of a pyramid – fix this Key Strategic...
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How To Successfully Implement Your Strategic Plan

One of the most important tools of managing the operations and growth of your Indigenous Organisation is its strategic plan. Indeed, if you’ve been following my blog posts, you’ll have seen that I have given you systems to prepare your business and strategic plan, along with implementable tools and procedures to move from a compelling vision to actions. Yet, I still get many questions about how you actually implement your plan successfully. People tell me that while they have followed my training and been able to create practical business plans, the difficulty is in keeping up momentum when they start to implement the plan. In order to keep up the momentum weeks into the implementation, you need to be able to “see” where you are up to and what you have achieved. That way, you are able to gauge your success, adjust accordingly, and quickly understand what is your next step. So what’s the secret? It’s really quite simple. Simple to understand, but hard to put into practice. I have dealt with this topic on my mainstream online training website for business owners. The principles apply to Indigenous organisations who want to implement their plans. Watch this video from my online training website Teik Oh Dot Com...
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6 Steps To Create Your Plan On A Page

Managing an Indigenous Organisation can be sometimes like herding cats. The organisation is constantly under pressure from things that are happening outside but that affect the work. Lack of resources is a root cause of being unable to organise work and systems to create efficiency. If you have a strategic plan, you probably don't have time to look at it until that time when...it's too late? Yet at the same time, in order to move from day to day chaos, you always need to set a direction, and you need to set it in such a way that it is easy to refer to and to follow. Making To-Do lists is great. But To-Do lists are simply a set of actions, they do not always relate to goals and bigger picture achievements. Without these, any To-Do list becomes lost in a sea of activity. If you are clear about your goals they become possible. But in order to make those goals real, you need plans. Once you have plans, you, and the whole organisation, need to work on them – every day! This means they must be practical and visible. How do you keep your goals and plans front of mind before you get lost...
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