Pointers

Strategic thinking and planning can often be a daunting prospect for organisations. Many find support on this topic invaluable. Here are some key pointers on offering quality support on strategy.

  • Some organisations may not realise they need help in this area. They may come to you with another concern, such as income generation, or governance issues, which may turn out to be caused by a lack of strategic planning skills.
  • Remember that every organisation has a strategy even if most people don’t know about it: it may be stuck in the CEO’s or chair’s head, or trapped in a forgotten strategic plan.
  • Not every organisation will need a brand new strategic plan: they may need help implementing it or revisiting a particular part of the strategy process.
  • Listening to what your client says is a crucial starting point, but be wary of both over-interpreting or simplifying what people say.
  • If you’re able to provide tailored in depth support, talk to several people within the organisation to get a range of perspectives, especially trustees.
  • Make the most of your external perspective to ask the right sort of questions; encourage the organisation to explore deep-held assumptions and be prepared to challenge what people say.
  • Your advice should empower organisations to develop their own strategic skills: beware of imposing your views or producing a strategy for your clients.
  • Be ambitious for your clients. Be prepared to persuade your network members to ‘up their game’ on strategy, in order to secure their ongoing survival and future success. Swot up on the benefits of strategy, so that you can make the case effectively.
  • Design your strategy support services carefully to respond to real needs and to create the outcomes you want.

Read about common concerns that frontline organisations have about strategy.

More support for you

The rest of this section outlines relevant resources, tips on designing services, training programmes and peer networking opportunities available to help you develop your offer to frontline organisations.

Last updated at 17:54 Mon 12/Apr/10.

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