Whole System Strategic Planning

by Fred Darbonne Because nonprofit organizations are so passionate about their mission, and often stretched to maintain their operations, it can be difficult to break away and climb to the “balcony” (Ronald Heifetz, 1998) for a fresh perspective.  From the balcony, leaders can look down on the “dance floor” and see how the parts interact to produce the whole guest experience.  There…

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The Fallacy of Buy-in

By Fred Darbonne Stakeholders can blindside leaders with resistance to their strategic plans. Perhaps the leadership team met on a retreat with a consultant who stimulated their thinking with provocative questions. Possibilities emerged which they had never considered, and they identified resources they had not seen as capital. As they collaborated, comradery strengthened their team and fostered trust. They anticipated…

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How Strategic Planning Pays Off

At business and networking events, after answering the inevitable “What do you do?” I’m often asked, “So, what is strategic planning?” The question is understandable for nonprofits pressed with daily management issues and resource limitations. Those matters push planning down the list of priorities. For those who have experienced strategic planning processes that were poorly conducted or included no clear…

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