Planning… for the rest of us

Chris Corrigan has a great post about strategic planning.

Most of the small non-profits I work with seem to think it’s wise to use mainstream business strategic planning frameworks to plot their way forward. Even though these frameworks are pursued with the best of intentions for many volunteer Boards of small and meagerly funded organizations, it’s usually overkill to adopt highly technical frameworks for planning. It might just be too much.

Even the process of vision, mission, goals and objectives is often too overbearing because it tends to force conversations into boxes, and it often results in Boards spending a lot of time designing statements that are too high minded, and largely forgotten. It also constrains the process and uses valuable time to talk about abstract notions that might be over kill for an organization that just does one thing well. Sometimes “providing quality child care at an affordable price” is all you need to say.

Amen. Actually, I suspect this is true for a lot of larger organisations too, where this process becomes a game of high-status abstraction: I’ll meet your mission-critical goal setting and raise you a core values deliverables statement. Etc.

I like Chris alternative format, written in ordinary English. You know, the stuff the rest of us speak.

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