Strategy Formation & Strategic Planning

Forming a strategy and planning strategically are not the same thing, but they are closely connected. To do either well—as any effective, adaptive, and resilient organization should—the two activities must support each other but be addressed as distinct efforts. We believe effective planning is rooted in clear strategy. At the heart of an effective strategy is a clear understanding of the context in which you operate and a clear articulation of the impact your organization will have.

Our approach of distinguishing strategy and planning as two halves of a unified whole enhances your organization’s ability to adapt nimbly and quickly to changing circumstances, guided by a clear knowledge of your identity, culture, and what you want to accomplish.

Strategy Formation

We help leaders and decision makers—boards of directors, staff, and other key stakeholders—understand and articulate an organization’s core identity and the impact it wants to have in the community. Our approach addresses organizational culture and norms. We help you form a strategy that situates your organization in its operating environment, gives you a reference point for planning, and is rooted in your mission and desired impact.

This overall strategy is a launch pad for everything from organizational planning to communication, from program design and evaluation to operations. As we work, we leverage proven tools and techniques, including the theory of change framework and decision screens.

Strategic Planning

We begin by assessing your organization’s state of health and its internal and external environments. We identify strategic, programmatic, and operational strengths and opportunities and establish criteria for decision-making and priority-setting. We then work collaboratively with you to develop long- and short-term plans to address priorities, opportunities, and challenges. Finally, we create tools that you can integrate into ongoing organizational practices so you can assure accountability and adjust your plan to adapt to new information and to changes in conditions and context. Our goal is to build organizational capacity and to establish a clear focus on both impact and sustainability.