At some moment in time, nearly every organization in California finds itself needing to step back and take in the big picture:
- Riding a wave of organic growth that has led to mission drift and conflicting priorities.
- Trying to figure out how to integrate new programs, products, or services — and thoughtfully eliminate old ones.
- Experiencing breakdowns in communication, with staff and board holding different understandings for the direction of the organization.
- Feeling pressure to find coherent responses to changes in demographics, politics, markets, funding, or stakeholders’ expectations.
- Wanting to tackle problems further upstream and build capacity for collective leadership, learning, and adaptation.
Strategy is Collective Leadership
Strategy is the art and science of guiding an organization from aspiration to execution. To be successful, organizations today are reliant on — and accountable to — a whole constellation of inside and outside stakeholders including clients, employees, funders or investors, policymakers, the community, and even the natural environment. At Praxsys Leadership in California, we approach strategic planning as collective leadership, weaving together the hopes and concerns of various groups impacted by the organization to build understanding, alignment, and action for impact.
In strategic planning we guide nonprofits, businesses, and collaborative networks in California through a series of data-driven conversations that systematically build consensus around core values and help make the critical choices facing the organization. The result is a shared sense of purpose and ownership, with systems and infrastructure that empower people to act in alignment with that vision and in concert with one another. Throughout the process we weave in an equity lens that recognizes power differentials, elevates marginalized voices, and considers the ultimate impact on the organization’s stakeholders.
From Strategic Planning to Strategic Action
Praxsys Leadership’s approach to strategic planning is developmental, supporting both the organization and individuals within it to develop the capacity to sense, learn, adapt, and respond to the complex, ever-changing, sometimes volatile environments they inhabit. Our goal is not simply to produce a static plan, but to build capacity to respond proactively to whatever opportunities and challenges the future may bring that cannot possibly be anticipated today.
If you engage Praxsys Leadership for strategic planning, you will not receive just another plan that gathers dust on a bookshelf or hard drive. You will also experience:
- Board and staff who are newly inspired and aligned around a shared mission, vision, values, and program priorities.
- A platform for resource development and criteria for strategic partnerships.
- Increased motivation and engagement toward building an ownership culture of distributed leadership.
- Action paths to ensure long-term organizational sustainability and mission impact.
Strategic Planning with Praxsys Leadership: How We Work
Our rigorous, whole-systems approach incorporates highly engaged, participatory decision-making methodologies with data-gathering from external stakeholders and expert assessment to map out the organization’s current and desired future state.
We ground our work in a customized assessment that provides a picture of the current challenges and opportunities facing the organization, as well as the strengths and assets available to meet them. We draw on both quantitative and qualitative assessments, with a particular focus on governance, organizational capacity, and financial sustainability.
To increase understanding of the external environment, we lead organizational leaders through a systematic environmental scan, including asset-based interviews of key supporters; targeted fact-finding on trends and best practices among comparable organizations; and focus groups, surveys, or interviews with key stakeholders.
This information helps to inform a series of “future-back, outside-in” planning sessions in which we define the vision and strategic goals for organizations in California and give voice to stakeholder needs using whole-system techniques including Appreciative Inquiry, Facilitative Leadership, Technology of Participation®, and many others. We then translate those into a clear set of strategic directions that are supplemented by strategic decision-making criteria and guiding principles to inform adaptive and strategic thinking.
To operationalize the plan, we guide translation of those strategies into clear action plans that define resources needed and the role and contribution of key players, including staff departments, the board of directors, and others. Lastly, we can help organizations throughout California define metrics, dashboards, and methods for monitoring implementation of the strategy to help the organization evaluate success and course-correct as needed.
Move forward with shared ownership of a clear vision to maximize your organization’s impact.
For a free initial consultation, contact Praxsys Leadership online or by calling our offices in California about strategic planning at (909) 632-1624.