Monday, September 2, 2013

What is Strategy? Part II

Strategy is an integrated explanation of how an organization is going to guide its performance into the future.

In installment #2 of “What is Strategy?” we consider an organization’s future.  If Strategy guides performance “into the future,” then an obvious question is “Where are you going?”

To answer that question, I first suggest that an organization identify its Mission Gap – which is essentially a statement of unmet mission needs.  For example, if your mission was to eliminate illiteracy in your county, then your Mission Gap would be the number of people who are currently not literate.  Click here to learn more about Mission Gap.

Next, ask yourself “What would our organization need to look like ideally in order to close our Mission Gap as effectively as possible?”  This is time to dream!  Dream a Vision of what your organization would look like if you could have it any way you wanted it – with no constraints.  Most visions are incremental and adapt themselves to current reality.  Click here to learn more about aspirational visioning – including my $100 Billion Challenge exercise.

To finish off the “Where are you going?” question it is time to set Strategic Goals.  I recommend setting Strategic Goals five years into the future which inspire you and which you think will catapult your organization toward closing your Mission Gap as effectively as possible.  I encourage organizations to set specific Almost Impossible Goals.  Click here to learn about this powerful way of setting goals that leads to Breakthrough Performance.

Once you have dreamed and are in touch with your highest aspirations for those you serve, then it is time for the next step.  For the next installment we’ll talk about getting clarity on your current reality.  And from there, we will be able to chart the strategic course toward your future.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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