It is extremely important for your nonprofit agency to have an up-to-date strategic plan. No, that’s not a shameless plug. It is a fact. A plan by itself is not the driver to your vision. If your strategic plan is aligned to your daily operation, then it has the power to drive change, make a difference, and move you closer to your vision. So, is it time for a Strategic Alignment?
Here are three simple ways to help align your strategic plan to your nonprofit agency’s daily operation:
Establish a clear vision and mission. You vision (your desired future) and your mission (what you do today) should be articulated in a manner that provides clarity, motivates all stakeholders, and is realistic. Every goal, service, product, activity, meeting, and decision should support your vision and mission. If not, you are spending valuable time on non-value added activities. A vision and mission are great litmus tests to help you determine if your activities are relevant to your desired future.
Processes. What processes and systems take up 80% of our time each day? Do these process support your mission? Do they move you closer to your vision? Are you using your core competencies (your secret sauce) to your advantage? One of the best ways to improve the buy-in of your strategies by your staff is to ensure their daily tasks directly correlate to the mission and vision.
Metrics. One of the more common reasons strategic plans collect dust is they often require an abundance of reporting. How consistent are the key performance metrics in your processes and systems, with your compensation-related KPIs, your annual budget, and the outcomes of each of your strategic goals? What metrics do you talk about in your weekly and monthly meetings? If they are all over the map, you might find yourself spending more time compiling and reporting, than improving the metrics. A clear and concise set of top-level metrics that are supported by your strategic goals AND your daily activities will help to align your strategy with your operation.
So, keep it clear & concise. Monitor the few relevant metrics. And, review your operational activities to ensure they support your strategies. These three tips will move you closer to solid business alignment for your strategic plan.
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