Benefits

Developing and using a strategy can be an exciting way of helping your organisation to be more successful. A strategy can help you:

Focus on your mission

Developing a strategy involves standing back from day-to-day challenges and ensuring that your efforts and resources are focused on delivering your mission. A strategy can help your organisation gain clarity on where it wants to be.

Take control

A strategy offers a chance to take control of your own future rather than simply responding to incidents, emergencies and short-term funding decisions. You can plot out key steps that you need to take to make your vision a reality. And you’ll have the confidence to say ‘no’ to opportunities that would take you off course.

Improve relationships

The process of developing a strategy can bring your organisation closer to your users, to other organisations operating in your field, and to your other stakeholders, creating stronger mutual respect and understanding. A strategic plan is also likely to impress potential funders!

Motivate your team

Creating a strategy can bring everyone – trustees, staff and volunteers - together to discuss big issues, challenge assumptions and question existing practice. It can also give people a sense of ownership so that they know where the organisation is going and how their day-to-day work fits into the bigger picture.

Encourage creativity and innovation

Forming or reviewing a strategy can be an opportunity to look both inside the organisation and outside it for new ways of delivering your mission, to improve what you already do, and to consider how to adapt what you do in changing circumstances.  

Manage uncertainties

Thinking about what sort of future environment your organisation will exist in, can help you to identify potential risks and opportunities, so that you can devise methods for dealing with them. Find out more about analysing your operating environment.

Track progress

Your strategic plan should contain clear milestones and targets, which will help you to track your progress and keep your organisation on course to deliver its mission. This will also give you an early warning if things aren't going to plan. The main NCVO website has more on monitoring and evaluation.

Of course, strategic planning isn’t without its challenges too.

Last updated at 18:06 Mon 12/Apr/10.

Discuss

How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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