In today’s ever-evolving landscape of purpose-driven organizations, the compass that guides their mission and vision is more crucial than ever before. Leaders of these organizations find themselves navigating through uncharted waters, seeking a sustainable path forward. At the heart of this journey lies strategic planning – the essential roadmap to a brighter and more impactful future. 

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a recent client of ours, is a testament to the transformative power of strategic planning. They exemplify the spirit of purpose-driven organizations and have embraced a collaborative approach that aligns with their Quaker principles. Our journey with FCNL was guided by the principles of Appreciative Inquiry, employing the SOAR model (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results). This collaborative effort, involving Friends/Quakers and Quaker allies across the country, has illuminated the path forward for FCNL, reaffirming their commitment to effecting positive change. 

Brighter Strategies Customized Approach

At the core of our approach to strategic planning is customization. We recognize that each organization is unique, with its own set of goals, challenges, and stakeholders. We tailor our process to meet the specific needs and expectations of purpose-driven organizations.

Our six-step strategic planning process is designed to foster inclusion, engagement, and, most importantly, results.

1) Preparing for the Journey

We commence the strategic planning process by creating a clear and inclusive roadmap. Involving crucial stakeholders from the organization ensures that everyone is aligned and committed to the journey ahead. The foundation of a successful strategic plan is laid here, in the commitment to collaboration. 

2) Exploring and Learning

Understanding where you’ve been and where you are is essential to charting a course for the future. Through interviews, focus groups, and online surveys, we engage staff, stakeholders, and community partners. This data-driven approach informs the organization’s understanding of its current operating environment, paving the way for informed decision-making. 

3) Agreeing on Current Realities & Future Vision

With a comprehensive understanding of the past and present, we facilitate a forward-looking conversation that links the organization’s history with its vision for the future. This is where we articulate a high-level path forward, often involving a dynamic retreat to revise the vision, mission, and values and set bold goals. 

4) Creating Viable Strategies

Strategies are the narrative that guides an organization’s journey. We work with organizations to define their overarching approach to achieving their goals, prioritize strategies, and determine metrics for success. This stage ensures that the mission, vision, values, and goals are well-socialized among stakeholders and staff, fostering broader ownership of the plan.  

5) Implementing and Championing Change

Implementing the strategic plan is where the rubber meets the road. We assist organizations in evolving their systems and processes to create the capacity needed to realize the vision. This often includes developing implementation and alignment plans and assessing organizational systems and processes for alignment with the strategies. 

6) Living the Vision

The ultimate measure of success for a strategic planning process is the extent to which leadership and key stakeholders embrace and share ownership of the vision. This stage invites stakeholders to celebrate the articulated vision and commit to the strategies that will bring it to life. 

Our holistic and comprehensive process empowers clients to build upon their past accomplishments, clarify their present conditions, and articulate a future that advances their mission. With the support and buy-in of staff and stakeholders, our clients receive a comprehensive strategic plan designed to remain relevant for at least three years. Strategic planning is the compass that steers purpose-driven organizations toward their goals. Through customization, collaboration, and a commitment to transformation, we help organizations like FCNL pave the way for a future defined by impact, purpose, and lasting change.