I was recently asked by Faith Family Medical Center, a non-profit organization I am honored to serve as a Board Member, to head up their tri-annual strategic planning review process. Having been through this type of exercise many times before (both in the for- and non-profit worlds and as both a leader and participant), I was honored to agree to take on this leadership role. At the kick-off meeting for the team–which included other Board Members, staff and a consultant–I gave the welcome and introduction and laid out my definition of what constitutes a strategy:
Strategy is where opportunity meets mission.
I have seen too many organizations struggle with what to include as part of their strategic plan. For me, there is a litmus test that an idea needs to pass before it should be considered as a candidate for inclusion:
- Is the idea consistent with the mission of our organization?
- Does this idea respond to an opportunity that our organization has identified?
If the answer to both of the questions is “yes” then you should consider including the idea in your strategic plan. If the answer to one or both of the questions is “no” then you need to eliminate the idea from those under consideration for inclusion in your strategic plan.
Just because the answer to both questions is “yes” does not mean that the idea is automatically included in your plan. You still need to consider what competencies your organization has that can support the idea (or what competencies you will need to develop or acquire) along with dependencies and other limiting factors. These two questions, however, should help you slim down your list of idea and provide focus on those ideas that merit additional investigation.
Are there components of your strategic plan that fail one or both questions posed above? It is not too late to re-consider their inclusion. Do you need help with a strategic planning process or review? Contact me for more information as to how I may be able to help.