I found Rob Sheehan's new book Mission Impact, a practical guide to strategic and operational planning. It's not a theoretical treatise, thank goodness, but an essential step-by-step process to help the nonprofit CEO or board work through and develop a game-changing strategic plan.— Edward F. Leonard, PhD, President,
Breakthrough Strategy Consulting
Inspired to create a Breakthrough Strategy with long-lasting impact, local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations have benefited from our consulting services. Rob Sheehan is lead consultant for all Breakthrough Strategy Consulting projects and may utilize trained, experienced associates depending on the specific needs of the client. At the time of retaining us, we’ll ask that your key staff and members of your governance board read Mission Impact: Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits which may be obtained by clicking here.
Breakthrough Strategy Design Process
Done well, strategy development can be accomplished in a few months or take up to a year depending your organization’s situation and needs. We guide you through the process that includes:
- Board self-assessment (if the board has not undergone this within the past two years)
- Stakeholder involvement (with interviews, surveys, focus groups, or participation in the Strategy Development Group)
- Board, CEO, and senior staff collaboration and agreement
- Organization of a Strategy Development Group
- Timeline development for the design process
Following a systematic process developed over time, we help your organization focus on the hard work of Mission Impact. Here is what you can expect:
Clarifying Your Mission Impact
The first item the Strategy Development Group (SDG) addresses is reviewing your organization’s mission and intended impact. Working with the SDG, we:
- Ensure your mission
statement contains impact language
- Set Mission Accomplishment
- Define your organization’s Mission Gap (identification of unmet needs)
- Establish the basis for your
organization’s vision, strategic stretch goals, and new
strategy to close Mission Gap
Creating a Complete Vision for Your Organization
The next step is for the SDG to set a vision for your organization. With your Mission Gap in mind, we aid the SDG to:
- Create a future picture of your organization ideally designed to fill the Mission Gap
- Set an inspiring Aspirational Vision for your organization
- Hone focus and momentum for strategy development
Setting Strategic Stretch Goals
Setting stretch goals sharpen your organization’s focus and spur creativity for strategy development. We assist the SDG as it sets:
- Five Strategic Stretch Goals
(designed to catapult your organization toward its vision)
- A timeframe for meeting the
stretch goals (usually three to give years out)
- Measurements for success
- Stretch goals are strategic by design and they are outcome based and SMART (specific, measurable, almost impossible, relevant, and time bound).
A clear strategic understanding of the organization’s current reality is essential in order to craft breakthrough strategy.
We help guide the SDG through a time-tested process that examines:
All points are reviewed in the context of your organization’s commitment to achieve the Strategic Stretch Goals. This SWOT process helps you understand what it will take to pursue organizational Vision and close the Mission Gap.
Strategy development is a creative process that results in a statement of the general themes — a Breakthrough Strategy Narrative — that guides your organization’s performance for the coming three to five years.
We use a 'systems thinking' approach to assist the SDG with its development of the Breakthrough Strategy Narrative, ensuring that it explains how your organization will:
- Leverage Strengths
- Fortify Weaknesses
- Seize Opportunities
- Block Threats
This is all done toward the pursuit of the Strategic Stretch Goals, Vision, and closing of the Mission Gap as effectively as possible.
The first implementation step we recommend is aligning all aspects of your organization, its systems, structure, and especially its culture, with the new Breakthrough Strategy.
Strategic Stretch Goals are integrated into your organization’s annual planning process, while the Breakthrough Strategy guides the development of action plans. The organization and external environment are continually monitored for changes—and the organization prepares itself to engage those changes. Implementing and managing the strategy requires comprehensive effort from everyone within the organization.
Organizations believing assistance is needed to design and execute their implementation plans may benefit from external support and coaching. You may also find that your staff, or board, need to develop new skills in order to implement the Breakthrough Strategy.
Our Leadership and Teamwork Consulting services provide continual monitoring and stakeholder development to ensure the success of your Breakthrough Strategy.
- Click here for more information on Leadership & Teamwork Consulting to assist with Strategy Implementation.
Through the consulting process, your organization gains a deep insight to new possibilities, new ways of thinking about your mission, and how it can have greater impact. Conclusion of the process leaves you with:
- Updated Mission with improved impact language.
- Mission Accomplishment Measures that are your primary performance indicators and provide an objective to achieve.
- An articulated Mission Gap that specifies the unmet needs of those you serve in a measurable way to explain the extent of your organization’s mission challenge.
- A compelling Aspirational Vision created from imagining how much more of a difference you can make if your organization existed in an ideal state.
- Strategic Stretch Goals that direct action to pursue your organization’s Aspirational Vision.
- A focused Breakthrough Strategy Narrative grounded in your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, but guided by your Aspirational Vision to close Mission Gap with innovative ideas.
- Involved and empowered stakeholders who are now prepared to support and participate in the implementation of the strategy.