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Re: ELITE 7 years, 8 months ago #215

I started to read Lofty Missions, Down to Earth Plans by V. Kasturi Rangan. I was interested and liked the catchy title, but basically when I was going to have to pay to continue to read I decided to pick another article. So now that I am out of time and the assignment stated “start to read” I will put in my summary of what was read. Like anything else you have a starting point and you want your outcome to be an improvement, and how you go about it is your mission. Your plan can be elaborate or simple, but the bottom line is the outcome. In the article it says “you must decide how much of a stretch is necessary-even visionary- and how much is a drift and a drain.” My interpretation is it is all about how and where you put your efforts. It can be as elaborate or simple as you make it, and the outcome you get depends on what you put into it.As for Strategic Planning, I just need to get more involved in the big picture, and not be afraid to share my views.

Re: ELITE 7 years, 8 months ago #216

I'm not sure I did this assignment correctly... I didn't read anything about strategic planning - I apologize. I did, however, read an awesome article by Keenan Weller titled, "Embracing Risk in the Shift from "Program Thinking" to "Social Change Thinking," published in the Non Profit Quarterly.

This article really appealed to me because we are experiencing this very shift within our organization, to some extent. We've recently looked long and hard at outcomes from a particular program and decided that the impact wasn't as great as we'd like to see. The ROI simply wasn't there. Therefore, we came up with a new idea (based on our Community Assessment and Strategic Plan) and are in the first stages of creating it. And that's exactly what we are doing: "creating it." We aren't taking a program out of a box, with clearly defined "how-to guides," but rather we have identified the change we want to see in the communities we serve and we are working with other partners and organizations to bring them to light.

In the article, Weller says, "The concept of disruptive innovation is commonly associated with Clayton Christiansen, who routinely dispenses logical statements like this one: “Over time, we’ll need fewer and fewer hospitals. Boards of those institutions need to just remember that the scope of what they need to do is to be responsible for the health of people, not the preservation of the institutions.” I see the same to be true for Community Action. We should be responsible for improving communities and making a better place to live, rather than providing [insert Federal/State funded program name here]. This is not to say that we should throw our programs to the curb - but that we should be sure they are causing the change we want to see.

So, what is my role in SEK-CAP's strategic planning process? Well, I facilitate the data collection and focus groups that feed our Community Assessment, I facilitate the discussions surrounding that data and record the needs identified, then I design the Community Assessment document with the goal of creating a trusted, useful tool.

Then, I facilitate discussions with our Leadership team and our Board of Directors around the results of the Community Assessment as well as the outcomes we see in the programs, services, and projects we completed over the prior year(s). I record these conversations on paper, review it with the participants, and flush out the hot topics, so to speak. These are the topics that make the final cut on he strategic plan.

From there, I design the document and coordinate the collaborative revision efforts.
Director of Research, Planning, and Grants Development
Southeast Kansas Community Action Program
620-724-8204, ex. 1026


Re: ELITE 7 years, 8 months ago #217

I forgot to add my suggestions for others involved in the strategic planning process. From my perspective, it is of the utmost importance to leave any preconceived ideas out of the planning process. Practice active listening, record information honestly, and gain feedback from the appropriate people.

Also, be flexible and embrace change.
Director of Research, Planning, and Grants Development
Southeast Kansas Community Action Program
620-724-8204, ex. 1026


Re: ELITE 7 years, 8 months ago #218

I read Corporate Transformation Without a Crisis. The article was interesting because it focused on organizations transforming their current structures and culture. The article stated that corporations that are in crisis tend to transform more easily and successfully than organizations that are not in crisis. Corporations in crisis are forced to make transformations to survive, so everyone buys into the new concepts out of necessity. Corporations that are not in crisis, however, are not always successful in making transformations. The article explains five principles of successful transformations and focuses on leaders as the key elements in making those transformations successful. Furthermore, the article gives hands on examples of well-known organizations that have transformed successfully.
I think the article was interesting and worthwhile because it does give ideas on how to make change successfully and seek the buy-in of those affected by change.
I would recommend the book, Good to Great to be added to the list. Also, I would recommend some information on the Baldrige Criteria and how it is used in organizations successfully.

Re: ELITE 7 years, 8 months ago #219

I am one of the four-top leaders at Proteus Inc. and I help oversee the corporation’s Strategic Plan. Each year we revise and evaluate the plan and focus on outcomes and objectives. I have been pushing to focus on measurable outcomes in our plan for years. I also, look at the plan based on the Baldrige Criteria so we can identify the Strengths and Opportunities for Improvement in our Strategic planning process. I think that being active in the plan is critical. We ask all of our staff for input into the plan, but many don’t respond. I think if employees want to be active in this area, it is up to them to take the initiative to learn about strategic planning and give opinions on it.

Re: ELITE 7 years, 8 months ago #221

I chose to read both the BoardSource ebook To Go Forward, Retreat and the Urban Institute NonProfit Financial Reporting.. Our CAP Riverside Annual Board Retreat will be held in September and I was excited to find new ideas for engaging Board Members and ensuring participation in the publication by BoardSource. Timing is everything and I will share the information with my Executive Director in order to incorporate some of tools to ensure a successful and productive event. The NonProfit Financial Reporting was chosen to enhance and improve my understanding of the practices of financial reporting in a nonprofit agency. My previous experience working with financial reports was in a corporate environment..... In regards to being active in the strategic planning process, immediately after our July 12 webinar, at the suggestion of our agency ELITE training group, CAP Management provided staff an opportunity to review and/ or revise the final draft of the strategic plan prior to submission to the Board for Approval. The results were that staff took ownership and acknowledged a vested interest in the strategic plan that they helped to develop months prior.
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