Does your organisation never change?

Janet GraubergJanet Grauberg is a Senior NCVO Consultant with extensive experience in public and social policy across the voluntary and public sectors and will be leading NCVO’s two-day Meaningful Strategy Course on 9 & 10 September, and 26 & 27 November 2014.

Over the last six month’s as part of NCVO’s strategy consulting team, I’ve been working with half a dozen organisations – from tiny ones with a couple of staff, to household names – who have asked NCVO to work with them to review their strategy.

Their drivers are different – reductions in statutory funding, increased demand for services, new legislation or new organisations entering the field, but the threads are common – they want to look again at how they deliver their vision and mission in a changing world.

Know your direction of travel

It’s these common threads that have been in my mind as I’ve been putting together the Meaningful Strategy course. The more the outside world is changing, the more need there is for an organisation to be clear about its direction of travel, the difference it wants to make, and the unique or special way it goes about it. The more need there is for trustees, staff, volunteers and stakeholders to know what that direction is, and be signed up to going there together.

Some people think of strategy as a road map – enabling you to navigate your way to a destination. Or a tree – with impact and outcomes as the fruits of the trunk of your strong organisation and the deep roots of your values. On the course we’ll be thinking about ways of thinking about strategy – what works for your organisation at this time.

We’ll also be working through the practical realities of running a strategic review process, and planning a strategy awayday, using the great publication Tools for Tomorrow. Simple, accessible tools to help you get the outcomes you want from your strategy process – developed by and for people in the voluntary and community sector. I’ve been leading strategy conversations for years – as a senior civil servant in a government department, as a director of strategy in a large children’s charity and as a chair of trustees for a small community arts charity – and I’ve found the book just what I need to put the experience I’ve learnt into practice.

Share your knowledge

I know from my own work that every organisation is different – the ethos is different, the way the trustees work with the senior management is different, the geography is different, the scale is different. One of the great things about the NCVO’s Meaningful Strategy course is that you learn as much from other senior leaders on the course as you do from the person delivering it – they each bring their own experiences of getting buy-in, of engaging with stakeholders, and of leading their organisations to make difficult but necessary decisions.

If nothing is changing in your organisation, we don’t need to see you on this course. But if you are actively trying to work out how to deliver your mission in a changing world, come and join us, and we’ll work on it together.

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