Executing Strategic Plans
Strategic planning is an in-depth process that sets goals and priorities for an organization by assessing current operations, mapping out strategies for success, and measuring the progress and outcomes. At Kaleidoscope, Inc., our team partners with your leadership to define specific strategies for growth based on your initiatives and goals. We execute our plan in four comprehensive steps:
- We complete a full assessment of current operations
- We lead your team in casting a vision for the future
- We guide you in defining steps on how to get there
- We develop metrics that help you define success
Generally, this process takes a year to initiate and plan and then three to five years to execute.
Your timeline may look something like this:
After you receive board approval, secure your consultant and complete a full assessment, it is time to define your top 3 to 4 high-level initiatives. We do not recommend choosing more than this at one time, as each area will not get the full attention it deserves. Our Kaleidoscope team, along with your leadership, will help identify initiatives that provide energy, vision, and excitement for the future of your organization. We will also ensure that these areas of growth fill any gaps identified during our assessment process. Some of your initiatives may include:
- Creating your organization’s mission and vision
- Developing business plans that will grow your programming
- Developing your board and governing partners
- Creating outreach and programming to new markets
- Enriching leadership and team development
Communicate Your Strategies
It is important that proper communication takes place throughout the lifetime of your strategic plan and that you involve the appropriate parties. Make your constituents aware of the initiatives your organization will focus on and what outcomes you will look to achieve. Involve your team in the process from the beginning, and celebrate successes along the way. Engaging everyone will help your team work towards a unified outcome.
Make sure your board is also involved in communications throughout the process. At least twice per year, supply your board with progress reports, not only as an accountability touchpoint but also to increase awareness and encourage involvement.
Engage Your Donors
The financial implications of strategic planning can be an obstacle if not identified and planned for in advance. We recommend involving your donors throughout the process so that they have opportunities to engage. Their financial support will make executing your plan much easier. Here are some ideas on ways to get them involved:
- Ask for their feedback and perspective so that they feel involved in the process.
- Invite them to special events to show appreciation.
- Communicate their impact on the progress of your plans.
- Encourage them to volunteer their time. The more invested they are, the more support you will have.
- Contact them to express your appreciation personally.
- Honor significant donations publicly.
Strategic planning and execution can be hard work! To ensure you meet your goals and celebrate successes along the way, set markers throughout the implementation phase to confirm things are going according to schedule. To assist with visualization, we give our clients wall charts with specific metrics that help identify progress.
Your measurements of success should directly correlate with your objectives and be easy to track; overcomplicated KPIs will prove unhelpful. Keep your data up-to-date so you can track progress in real-time.
Start Over Again
Strategic planning only focuses on a few initiatives at a time, so make sure to revisit the process every three to five years. We recommend discussing the next planning phase with your board of directors a year in advance; this will give you the time necessary to gain approval and solidify plans with your consultant.
Making improvements to your organization is a continual growth process and won’t be completed after one or even two rounds of strategic planning. Use what you learned from your previous experience to improve the ongoing planning and implementation of your strategic outline.
We hope the tips above provide helpful guidance on setting up and executing your strategic plans. If you are looking for more information on this subject and how we can help with the planning process, book a consultation to speak with our leadership today. We look forward to discussing growth opportunities with your organization!