Five reasons you need a strategic plan and how to use it to get results

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Five reasons you need a strategic plan and how to use it to get results

Putting together a strategic plan is simple enough. Why pay for a professional facilitator who will charge us thousands when we can
do it ourselves for next to nothing? So why do many plans end up not being followed?
Here’s the thinking that defines the value a board or commitee puts on their organisation. Do you really understand your organisation as it should be? Will your plan take you to the next level or is it just a reflection of what you think you ought to be doing? Or is it a vindication of what you are already doing? Who or what is challenging you, stretching your limits and providing a strong focus for the next few years?
Here are five reasons why you need a strategic plan that works:
1 Your members and stakeholders rely on your leadership to position the organisation and to ensure ongoing profitability. Even a not-for-profit must remain viable and sustainable, just like a business. You need a Vision of
where you want to be. What is the ideal status of your organisation and community or clients you serve? How does it look and feel? If you don’t have an organisational Vision, then your organisation is going nowhere.
2 Your organisation needs direction. If you don’t set direction, how will your staff and/or volunteers know what their goals are and be able to focus their activities accordingly? The direction must be legitimate, based on
consideration of well-researched internal and external circumstances. A well- presented and objective, situation analysis, provides board/committee (and other stakeholders) with an opportunity to think beyond the four walls of everyday function. In this space, new strategies are developed; strategies that will differentiate and generate a new collective passion for the future. 3 It’s time to take stock of what you are doing. Are you doing what you’ve already done? Are you stuck with programs or activities, products or services, that seem out of line with today’s needs? Or have you been
chasing every idea and now have a portfolio of activities, products and services that stray from your core purpose? A strategic plan will provide a strong focus that you can use to strengthen the programs and activities
that provide the outcomes associated with your organisation’s Vision. Clarity of activities helps not just the organisation, but also clients and community to understand exactly who you are and what you do.
4 A good plan can be used ‘strategically’. It can be used to support policy submissions and grant applications. Your submissions and applications will demonstrate your credibility and purpose.
5 Your strategic plan is a living document. What is your board or committee doing if it is not measuring the performance of your organisation? Is your plan getting a periodic review? Is it gathering dust or dropping to bits
from constant use? Without a good plan it is difficult to prove strong leadership, direction, focus on strategic activities and outcomes and
We’ve now completed the first stage of our 3 year Strategic Plan and are ready to go through the recommended ‘monitoring and reviewing’ proce
ss. It’s great to have this document to work with; its value becomes even cle
arer now that we look back to where we started from.
Thanks again, Trish, Richmond Community Garden Group

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