July 29, 2012

I’m always developing new ways to approach strategic planning – and to do governance better. For example:

— Instead of the traditional SWOT analysis (internal strengths and weaknesses, external opportunities and threats)…Consider exploring concerns and alarms. (If you were a nuclear power plant, concern would be Three Mile Island. And alarm would be Fukushima Daiichi.)

— How does something that is inconceivable become inevitable? How do we monitor and anticipate this?

— How can an organization foresee the unforeseeable? What are the processes to do so?

Use these questions in strategic planning. Also use these questions in ongoing management and governance.

Consider this approach:

What is our organization’s corporate culture that might enhance (or reduce) our ability to anticipate our own Fukushima Daiichi? How do we use top-notch management and extraordinary governance to analyze concerns and ensure that they don’t morph into alarms? How do we institutionalize strategic management and governance to foresee the unforeseeable?

Use real-life examples to explore the effectiveness of your organization’s management and governance. Engage the staff and board in these conversations. Use cage-rattling questions to generate meaningful conversation, to learn and to change. For example, use the Penn State fiasco as an example. Explore the Susan B. Komen Foundation mess. Test out BP and the Gulf oil spill. So many examples to choose from!


About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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