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The Dynamic Strategic Plan

Posted by Stephen Lemire on March 28, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Many nonprofit organizations traditionally go through a laborious and necessary process to revise their strategic plan every three-to -five years. This cumbersome effort can generate a literal binder of ambitious goals and work plans. Yet, this handsome document sadly ends up often as a doorstop or a bookend.
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Setting aside the time and energy to revisit a strategic plan every few years is very important. One effective technique to keep your strategic plan at the forefront of your organization’s activities is a technique which I call the Dynamic Strategic Plan. The goal is to help keep your work plan focused on the mission and in the mindset of board.
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I like to think of a small nonprofit as a motorboat which can make frequent and nimble shifts in its course, as needed. It need not be bogged down like an ocean liner which requires a lot of time and space to make necessary adjustments.
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Assume that a typical nonprofit conducts a monthly Board of Directors’ meeting which includes an executive director’s report that highlights recent activities and outlines upcoming key organizational events. I recommend that every third executive director’s report be framed within the format of the strategic plan.
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This process affords the Board the opportunity to fine-tune the strategic plan on a quarterly basis. In reviewing the goals and objectives in this fashion the organization can take actions such as deleting those which have been completed, changing short-term and long-term objectives as the market dictates, and adding new objectives as pressing needs emerge.
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In some quarters no changes will be made which means the organization remains on course. (Steady as she goes.) Other quarters, there may be as many as two or three minor adjustments in the plan.
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These ongoing efforts, as part of the Dynamic Strategic Plan, are in investment which yield big savings in the commitment of time, energy, and resources which are still required when the organization revisits its strategic plan. Fortunately, many of the revisions have already been made along the way.
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Categories: Nonprofits, Associations, Management

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