More mission-based organizations are conducting strategic planning, because rapid changes are occurring in the sector that are forcing these organizations to radically change how they are in business. Basically, mission-based organizations now have to do more with less.
The problem is that most strategic plans are not effectively implemented, and most do not realize their anticipated results. Strategic Planning, when done properly, is the process of determining the best possible future (Vision) for your organization considering the internal and external environment, and the most effective and efficient path to reach this destination.
SMC’s approach combines experienced facilitation of key stakeholders in developing consensus, and expert consulting to guide and counsel leadership in creating and implementing the ’right’ vision and strategy. This combination and collaborative approach appropriately includes and maximizes the resources of all key stakeholders. The active involvement of those needed to implement the plan ensures their commitment to and focus on execution of the plan. SMC has a proven history of working with organizations in developing effective plans that produce immediate, tangible and desirable results, and help to address systemic issues like racial equity.
We recognize that even if you have a great plan and people to implement it, you still need the funding and resources. Thus, in all of our planning and partnership projects we actively engage key current and prospective funders. From utilizing this approach for 25 years, we have developed strong relationships with key foundations. We then set the stage and prepare our clients to properly approach current and prospective funders with the ‘right ask’. We also review these plans and partnerships with Coxe Curry & Associates to best leverage current funders and explore key funding opportunities. The result of this work and relationships is nearly all our clients see an increase in revenue, and many go on and conduct successful capital campaigns.
Most people, especially staff and board leadership, are not involved with a nonprofit because of money/pay – they are emotionally attached to the organization and cause - much more so than a for profit corporation. So it is our experience that ‘telling’ these leaders what to do, does not drive needed change. All key stakeholders need to be facilitated in collaborative process to develop and implement consensus. So all or our work in grounded in a facilttaive methodology. However, we do not show up to an important planning meetings with blank flip chart paper. We invest the time to understand the key issues, concerns and desires of key stakeholders in advance of the meeting, work to create consensus and address any potential conflict before the meeting begins. We also review a summary of this stakeholder feedback with the key leadership to prep in advance of working session or retreat. Through 25 years of experience and research, we also know best practices and what worked with similar organizations – so we creatively get your team to consider these strategies; however, it is up to your team to own chosen strategies, goals and action steps.
A great plan needs great leadership to implement. So throughout our work with any client we provide coaching and consulting with the ED/CEO and any other key staff.
Through the years, we have observed that no matter the size and age of a nonprofit, they all desire to better engage their board. So we conduct a board audit and evaluation with all our clients and help them to self-identify key area of board improvement and development. And from our experience in working with over 250 boards, we help them make the right changes to make immediate improvements the board and then help them in strategic board recruitment.
Many non-profits and government agencies are addressing difficult challenges including increased competition, demand from government devolution, difficulty in raising funds, public scrutiny and difficulty in retaining leadership. With these declining resources and increasing demand, community and public agencies are moving beyond collaboration to explore formal methods of partnership, ranging from alliances to joint venture to outright mergers. These options also include public-private partnerships. Building strategic partnerships is a challenging and complex process that can take months, if not years, to arrange, and if not planned properly can result in a lot of wasted energy, resources and goodwill. With 22 years of experience in more than 50 partnerships, including mergers, allow us to facilitate, consult and advice to ensure an impactful partnership.
Speakman Management Consulting has built specialized expertise in providing consulting, facilitation and mediation for new and established partnerships, so that prospective partners can optimize their investment of time and resources. We help your organization explore the options, develop effective partnership strategies, identify the most appropriate partners, and involve key stakeholders to ensure commitment and successful implementation. We provide a turnkey range of technical assistance: