THINKING AND PLANNING WORKBOOK FOR NON-PROFIT EXECUTIVES
converts a non-profit institution's mission and objectives into
performance." Peter F. Drucker, Managing the Non-Profit
workbook provides a framework to organize and structure what you know about your organization to give you greater insight into its
nature, character, strengths and weaknesses and help you make more
effective strategic decisions.
It also provides a vehicle to record and document your
thinking for future reference.
organizations exist as part of a larger system and their success is
ultimately determined by how well their efforts fulfill their role
in the larger system in which they are a part.
This is the fundamental principle that guided the design of
this workbook. It uses
a systems approach to help you examine your organizationís
relationship with the community you serve and how well it is meeting
their needs and expectations.
of the characteristics of system behavior is the separation in time
and space between an effect and its cause.
Understanding system behavior requires discovering this
sometimes subtle relationship between an effect and its root cause.
Finding the root cause of an event entails looking for
patterns of change over time rather than direct cause-effect
workbook uses an historical perspective to help you discover the patterns of
change influencing your organization.
may find it helpful to involve others in this process such as staff
members, board members, and members of the community.
These people can contribute significant historical insights
about the organization and multiple perspectives of looking at the
task as the leader is to prepare your organization for the future.
Since this future will be largely determined by how well it
meets its social need, the best way to prepare for the future is to
keep your organization attuned to its role in society.
Part One- CLARIFYING YOUR PURPOSE helps you
analyze your organizationís place in the larger community which
nurtures and supports it and clarify your definition of the
organization's purpose and vision for the future.
Achieving a vision usually requires accomplishing results in a
variety of areas. Goals provide the mechanism to specify the set of results
that will define vision achievement.
Part Two- FOCUSING YOUR VISION helps you set the goals that will define
vision attainment and identify the barriers that stand in the way of
A marketing tactic is the idea, concept, characteristic,
attribute, or image that causes customers to purchase a product or
service. An effective
marketing tactic must overcome the barriers that keep customers from
purchasing or using your products or services.
Strategy is the decision framework that creates the actions
needed to exploit this tactic. Part
Three- FORMULATING YOUR STRATEGY leads you through a process to
formulate your marketing tactic and a strategy to drive it home.
Setting objectives is the critical step in transforming
your mission into work. Objectives describe the tasks that must be accomplished to
achieve your goals. They
are driven by your marketing tactic and strategy and must circumvent
or overcome the barriers to achieving these goals.
As the leader you must define the performance needed to
exploit this tactic and implement your strategy.
Performance that cannot be measured or assessed cannot be
managed. If you do not
define measurable performance standards you are merely supervising a
level of effort and your organization has a supervisor but not a
leader. Part Four- SETTING YOUR OBJECTIVES helps you identify and set
objectives, create accountability for results, and establish
measurable performance standards.
The mission statement is an important communication tool.
It is the way an organization defines its social commitment
and communicates what it does and what it stands for.
An effective mission statement should focus the organization
on action. It should
guide the organizationís decisions and inspire strong commitment
from those responsible for its operations and support.
It should implicitly or explicitly reflect the
organizationís purpose and vision.
Because writing mission statements can be a stressful
experience many organizations continue to use their existing
statements even after they have become stale or obsolete.
This not only deprives them of the commitment and support
that a strong mission statement can inspire but may also lead to an
organizational identity crises. Part Five- WRITING
YOUR MISSION STATEMENT will help you
problem by providing a template
for writing a mission statement which effectively communicates your
ONE - CLARIFYING
a primary task of the organization is the discovery of its place
and purpose in the larger system.
Every event in its history can be viewed as part of a
lesson, the meaning of which is to be intuited by the
Roger Harrison, Leadership and Strategy for a New Age.
of your primary tasks as a leader is to prepare your organization
for the future. Yet the only thing you know about the future is that
it will be different than the present.
Because your organization exists only as part of a larger
system its role or purpose is largely determined by its impact in
this system and only partially by you.
This is why organizations frequently evolve along a different
path than that initially envisioned by their founders.
Since you cannot predict the future the most logical way to
prepare for it is to attune your organization to its place in the
larger community that nurtures and supports it - to look at your
organization from a systems perspective.
The role of your
organization is shaped by the beliefs, values and assumptions of its
past and current leadership. These
determine the services it will offer and the markets or social
segments it will serve. However how the larger community responds to these offerings
will define its social role. The
importance society assigns to your efforts determines the level of
community support they receive and their ultimate success.
Attuning your organization entails keeping your internal
beliefs and values aligned with the needs of the community you
serve. This degree of
alignment will be reflected in the quality of the external
relationships your organization has developed and sustained over
time. Poor performance
and diminishing support may be an indication that your organization
is out of tune with its social role.
The universe is
constantly changing which impacts all institutions by eventually
altering their social roles. This
means that the purpose and mission of all organizations eventually
becomes obsolete or invalid. For
this reason organizations need to periodically assess the
fundamental beliefs and assumptions that provide the logic for their
mission to evaluate whether they still reflect current reality.
your organization requires an historical perspective.
Events, people and experiences have shaped its character and
identity since its founding. Examining
this history enables you to evaluate your organizationís beliefs
and values and provides the context for decisions about its future.
A review of history provides a current picture of your
organization - its strengths, weaknesses, challenges and
opportunities and gives you the ďbig pictureĒ needed to assess
how well it is attuned to its societal role.
History not only reveals what your organization was and is
but it also nurtures the seeds of what it can become.
organizations exist to bring about beneficial societal change
through the individuals or organizations that use their services.
This is the basis for their preferential tax treatment and
the fundamental reason for their existence.
Clarifying your organizationís purpose is the first step in
defining its mission. The
following pages will help you discover your organizationís place
in the larger social system in which it is a part.
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