But multiple speakers stressed the need for our sector to take back both qualitative evaluation as a legitimate form of measurement and to champion the other critical impacts we have in community, such as improving the social fabric, personal fulfillment and quality of life.
I am eager to see the end of the belief that there is one set of “best practices” when it comes to boards and governance. Let’s finally agree that governance is extremely complex as researchers are recognizing “the importance of context to our understanding of governance and the work of boards.”
The bottom line: “93% of successful organizations report that strategic planning has ‘some to critical impact’ on overall success, whereas only 48% of low success organizations report such impact.” Association for Strategic Planning
At the center of strategic planning is the commitment to community outcomes or mission-based objectives. These objectives are backed up by a clear-headed understanding of the dynamics of the world you exist in, a thoughtful and evidence-based strategy for executing programs (or an experiment that you’ll learn from) and a plan for building the operational capacity and strategic partnerships that are your best shot at reaching those objectives.
Anyway, while we can be proud of the work of the nonprofit sector providing direct supports and advocating for policy change to correct income imbalances, we also must acknowledge our own sector’s contribution to the income gap.
How many of our own workers are we paying poverty wages?
How many of our own workers lack health care coverage?
How many of our own workers will lack pensions when they retire?
Here are a few highlights from the plenary sessions of the 2013 Alliance for Nonprofit Management conference in Newark, NJ.
If ever there was a book that could help improve strategic planning, it’s Decisive, How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.
According to the book, our usual process looks like this:
- We encounter a choice.
- We analyze our options.
- We make a choice.
- Then we live with it.
This sounds logical and familiar. Most of us would pat ourselves on the back for being so rational.
The problem, as the Heath’s point out, is that there is a fatal flaw at each stage:
- Narrow framing makes us miss other options when we encounter a choice.
- Confirmation bias makes us gather self-serving information.
- Short term emotions often tempt us into making the wrong choice.
- We’re overconfident about how the future will unfold and stick to one path once we’ve made our choice.
Luckily, the Heath’s suggest four strategies to counteract your biases. They sum them up in the acronym, WRAP: Read more