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5 Principles of Effective Strategic Planning

Planning for your nonprofit’s future can be an invigorating process. However, in today’s constantly changing environment it can also be a challenge. In this session, Jane Brody and Tony Pillari discuss various ways you can work to define your organization’s future goals and priorities.

They cover 5 principles of strategic planning:

  1. How to design a strategic planning process that engages your organization from top to bottom and creates a sense of ownership of your plan.
  2. How to create the three parts of an effective strategic plan: your strategic vision, including your real estate strategy, your financial model, and your implementation plan.
  3. How to develop an integrated real estate strategy that meets employee and stakeholder requirements and responds to changes in the marketplace.
  4. How to execute your strategic plan, monitor your progress against your goals, and make periodic revisions to the plan when needed.
  5. How to manage and use real estate assets in a way that optimizes the execution of your strategy and maximizes and return on investment.

Melissa Waters: All right, thank you again for joining JMT consulting for expert speaker series. My name is Melissa.

And I'm the manager of events and programs here at JM t and we're happy to have Tony pillory of excellence consulting and Jane Brody of bike is partners talking today about the five principles of effective strategic planning.

This webinar is sponsored by JM T consulting and we're an RP and financial management solutions firm with 30 years experience specialized and nonprofits.

I want to share a few housekeeping notes and then I'm going to turn it over to Tony in Jane.

If you have any questions at all during the webinar, please make sure that you submit them in the Q AMP a box at the bottom of your control panel.

And we will get to those questions at the end of the webinar. You are also going to receive a copy of the recording today as well as the slides. This will be emailed to you by the end of the day, if not tomorrow morning.

Finally, I'd like to introduce Tony and Shane.

Tony is the co founder of Excel is consulting. He is a healthcare executive with more than 20 years and academic medicine consulting and biomedical research with a focus on strategic and operational planning and implementation.

He's an experienced leader who drives discussion and collaboration and an accomplished business planner with demonstrated success launching new initiatives.

Jane Brody is an experienced and passionate New York City commercial real estate broker who probably represents tenants in the nonprofit education and medical industries.

Because like his partners only represents tenants and never landlords Jane represents your best interest without hitting conflict of interest and remains your unwavering advocate throughout the process.

And with that, I am going to turn it over to Tony and Jane and thank you for being here.

Tony Pillari: Thank you for having us. You're both very excited to be here to talk about the five principles of effective strategic planning.

So what we're going to cover today we'll talk about designing the strategic planning process.

Will discuss developing an integrated real estate strategy as part of that process and also how to manage and use the related real estate assets.

Will talk about the three parts of an effective strategic plan. We'll talk about perhaps the most important piece executing on your strategy. We'll do a quick recap. And then we want to make sure we leave plenty of time for questions and answers.

So to begin, On designing the process. I think one of the key takeaways from this talk is that the strategic planning process needs to involve and be owned by everybody in your organization.

Everyone needs to have a stake in the development of the plan because everyone has a very real stake in the success of that.

So the planning process should be built around your executive team. These are the senior leaders that will move the process forward. And that will ultimately be accountable for execution of the strategy.

You should involve your employees, certainly for larger organizations that may be harder to do. But certainly the idea of employee representatives from different functional groups, for example, is one way to

Get employees involved in the process. You want to involve your board of directors external advisors and major donors those groups will certainly overlap.

But these are very important stakeholders that you need to involve in the process. And then, finally, to the extent you can you should involve the people that you serve.

And the idea behind all this, again, is that everyone should have ownership of the plan. This also creates that sense of buying in the plan, you're much more likely to support something that you played a role in developing

In terms of the structure for this process. It's very helpful and important to have something akin to a project management and this is the role

That excels consulting and Vikas partners often fulfills for our clients, you're going to be gathering a lot of information will be doing a lot of research.

And it's always helpful to have someone moving that process forward.

Helping you make sense out of all that information that you gather and then really helping frame your thought process. What do you do with all this information. Once you happen

It's also very helpful to create working groups or subcommittees whatever you might want to call them to tackle different parts of your plan.

And again, this is a lot of work. So these groups these working groups can be designed functionally, you can have a finance working group for example it working group perhaps

These groups can be structured more operationally, so you might have something like fundraising that cuts across multiple functional units.

Or you can think about it in terms of the pillars, or the initiatives that you might develop for your strategic plan my personal preference is

More towards the strategic pillar model more towards that cross functional

Approach, because I think the benefit there is you bring together a lot of different people with different skills and experience and different perspective and you can get a lot of really productive conversation and planning and thought going that way.

So in addition to designing the process you have a number of tools at your disposal to help you gather the information that will help you formulate your plan.

One on one and group interviews are great way to involve employees and other stakeholders focus groups and surveys let you bring in perspectives, perhaps from outside of the organization.

One word about surveys. They are a little more impersonal, you will gather a lot of information. So you also need to be prepared.

To analyze and make sense out of that information, particularly if you're using open ended, qualitative questions right the. Is there anything else you'd like to share a question is one of my favorite questions.

But it does involve a good deal of work to really get value from the answers that you received

And you should look externally as well. You should do an environmental scan get a sense of what's happening in your industry and beyond your industry look at your competitors. What are they do.

Benchmarking analysis is also really helpful. It lets you look at what you might call your aspirational peers when you think about who do you want to be like when you think about those organizations that are doing things really really well that you'd like to emulate. One of my favorite

Sayings is share up steal shamelessly share seamlessly. The idea being, look at your peers. Look at your aspirational peers emulate what they do.

And then in turn your organization will become your organization. You want it to be and will become a benchmark for others. Last but not least, review your previous plans. If you have certainly an important step and figuring out where to go next, is understanding where you've already been

Highlight one specific tool that I'm sure a lot of people on the webinar familiar with is a SWOT analysis SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is often a good starting point for strategic planning process because it lets you take a big picture view.

The slide sort of details the nature of each of those boxes and how they relate to each other. These aren't hard and fast rules.

You can really take this in any direction that you like, which was one of the benefits of the SWOT analysis, but this is at least how how we tend to think about it. And I think how you can probably get the most value from it.

One of the things that you're certainly going to want to think about is your real estate estate strategy. So I'll turn it over to Jane to talk about how we think about that important component of your planet.

Jane Brody: Hi everyone. So great to be with you today. Thank you, Tony. I think the most important thing is really thinking about what do you need to accomplish in your space.

What has to happen, are you serving clients are you running training programs really the functionality. So if you look at, for instance, going on to the left.

Are you holding board meetings. Do you need classroom space or you're holding events and what is the access for the space for your clients, your staff.

And your proximity transportation are really important considerations. Do you need parking

Is it a place where you know staff can run out and grab lunch. So those are sort of things to think about. And the functionality of the space.

And then something that people don't often think about is the perception of the space, for instance, I have an adoption agency that I work with, and they wanted to make sure that they had a side street kind of

Shorter building because they didn't want the intimidation of having the birth mothers go into buildings where there was a lot of security questions or it can be intimidating.

So really understanding what the environment that you're presenting and you of course you don't want to be in a class a building, perhaps because donors might be thinking you're spending all your money on rent.

So those are some things to think about. Are you hosting donors and board members. So it has to be kind of nice enough

And then of course the employee by in which Tony mentioned already, the stakeholder aspect is really important so that they're hear their voice and they're going to be recognized.

Then the next aspect is looking at the fiscal issues. What are your funding streams. Do you have state and city grants that are consistent are you building a program based on certain

Fiscal funding streams that might be cut. So how do you project what space, you need based on the funding streams certainly kind of everything drives to mission and funds. So you want to make sure you're planning.

That you're not going to go out of business. If you lose one particular grant and that you're hedging your real estate decisions based on a variety of funding streams.

And that's where the public versus private funding needs to come into play.

Then there's a question of space optimization, I think, let me just mention a little bit about Kobe because this is an important time to think about

How much space do I really need. So I'm going to take a pause here and talk about Kobe people have said to me, Oh wow, you know, we need more space because of social distancing

That is true and that people are working remotely. Maybe I need less space long term.

So those are some key considerations and planning your space. And certainly, you know, we work with a whole range of experts and help you figure out workflow. How to all the considerations you need to have to be coded ready

But there's certain things that are important and thinking about the kind of organization that you are

For instance, are you client facing. Do you need to have a central headquarters and then do you need to have offices.

In other Cashman areas to serve your clients. Those are also budget and real estate considerations, having everything centralized often can be

Very expensive, but really good for operating your program. So, depends on the kind of organization.

Think of them as sort of three types front runner kind of organizations that are doing frontline work.

Organizations that are training, technical assistance helping other nonprofits. That's like another group of organizations. And of course, we have all the arts organizations that are probably going to be the most hit during coven. So one of the things that's very

Prevalent right now in real estate is sublet so if you need a little more space for a year and a half, two years there plenty of opportunities to get below market spaces. If you need to pop into something

That's, you know, hopefully friendly on the bottom line. So that's an opportunity for you. And I also want to mention that as far as the market.

There is probably a higher percentage 12% of the market is sublet in 2008. It was as high as 24% so we're seeing a greater flow of sublet

Landlords are not necessarily coming down in sort of be buildings which are those without doorman high security.

But because there's less space in those areas. And then in outer borough locations are finite amount of space, but the reductions, we're seeing

Are in the class A buildings, which are the types of buildings that are the signature buildings. The main stray

Grand Central Station areas we've seen reductions about 10 to 20% the other consideration is if you want an open floor plan or closed offices. This is sort of the big debate under space optimization

People are torn between open floor plans and

closed offices. I think eventually will settle on probably a hybrid approach. It's can be noisy. It works really well. If you've got a lot of teams.

That like to work collaboratively and open, but if you're doing quiet counseling or nonprofit services that need confidentiality. You will need closed offices.

But I think a mixture is good and also for every desk that's we call it bench seating in a row, you'll need to have an alternative space. So you have to have

Some nice lunch space or creative space or conference room space, people can't necessarily sit at a tiny screen all day long without having

An opportunity to have some other places to go work and it also depends on the kinds of employees that you have and what is efficient and effective for your organization.

I know that was a ton of information, but I'm going to go over a little more. And we'll have chance for questions. So let me just take you to the next slide.

Which is developing the real estate strategy process very similar to any sort of change in organization. You want to make sure that you have all of your stakeholders involved. So for instance,

Terms of what happens in the space which we talked about prior is important.

I had a food pantry program couple years back, and they needed food delivered to their space. So it was really important that the space had

A loading dock tractor trailer can turn and drop off food. So sometimes the considerations of space or kind of external things that you need to think about

You to do your due diligence looking at properties that are both on and off market.

You want to make sure that if you need sign off from some of your funders, I was working with a needle exchange program they had to have a Department of Health sign off that they're involved in the process.

Then we do what we call letters of intent lol eyes and we submit them to multiple opportunities. This is also a lease or sale.

And then we provide some comparative analysis. We love it if we can get different landlords to compete against you because we always feel that your mission and your work is critical and landlords are made up of 75% or

Basis less than 10,000 feet. So they really need these kinds of tenants and nonprofits make up the second largest

supplier of space. So these are important things in this world. And I think in terms of coven nonprofits will continue and the work will be going on so landlords are looking to make transactions happen.

Then of course, you'll be needing to have lawyer because nothing is really simple. There'll be very extensive lease and lease negotiations that happened.

Between lawyers, then you have to have you're designing your construction. We always try to get the landlord to build out as much as possible because we know that you're all working very hard.

To do your nonprofit mission and your work and you don't need another job. So we encourage you to have a project manager and also work through if possible landlord doing a turnkey build or build up for you. And then, of course, having an ongoing central point of contact.

Okay, let me talk about the variations of the things that real estate can offer you. You could have an outright ownership.

Now, this is great because then you've gotten equity in a building a lot of charter schools in New York are working towards this.

Sometimes they work through our ground up and buy land and US bonds and all different types of funding strategies to help you make that purchase it can take

1820 years until it makes sense that you've invested in this way but you know that your school always has a place to be.

There are hidden things in ownership. Just like all of you who own homes boilers can go, you can have capital campaigns that you have to

Happen because you have to have a new roof or other system. So you have to have contingency plans for that. There's also the direct long term lease.

Which is probably 95% of the transactions. What's nice about that opportunity, it's somebody else's headache, the capital expenses and you have a set amount and you can plan for what your costs are going to be

As you have a fixed rent with some escalations built in.

And you can work on or rent schedule, sometimes in cases of schools. If you're expanding, there can be a ramp up period, the landlord is willing to work with you during that period of time.

Another strategy is lease to own, that's when you could start out with a leasing and then eventually have an option to then purchase. The last one is a joint venture

My favorite example of this. One is the girls club down the Lower East Side.

They actually works. They had a couple of milk crate and cartons and they were going from place to place.

Serving young girls in the Lower East Side. And they came, they came upon some land that they wanted to purchase, which they did. They had a capital fundraising.

And then they got an affordable housing partner and they were able to build a building on top of the girls club. So they were able to kind of share the financial burden and they went into a joint venture opportunity. So I'm going to

Turn it let's, I think, can we go on to Tony, you're the next slide.

Tony Pillari: So, so far we've talked about designing the process for developing your strategic plan.

The toolkit that you would use to do that, the importance of developing an integrated real estate strategy and thinking about how to use those assets. So now you're ready to construct a plan itself.

And we think an effective strategic plan has three components that covers your strategic position right that's the space that you occupy in the market.

And includes the financial model this details all the resources that you'll need to deploy to execute on your plan. And then it also includes your implementation plan.

And as we'll talk about later. This is more than just your task list. This is something that you can use to create a sense of accountability and ownership of the plan.

So let's start with the strategic position. If the first key takeaway is that you should involve entire organization in the planning process. The next one is, as I like to say you can't go forwards and for ours.

So what am I mean your strategic position articulate the space you're going to occupy right how you will claim it and how you will defend it. But the flip side of this and I stress this with my clients is that your strategy is often about as much

About what you will not do in addition to what you will do and it's important to understand that and understand that distinction. So why is that to bother borrow a cliche.

It's hard to be all things to all people. Right. You may not be able to gather and deploy all the resources you need

As resources might be very diverse if you're trying to occupy two different spaces.

You may not be able to convince your customers and your stakeholders, so they may think of you in a certain way, they may have a very long standing relationship with you.

And not be ready to see you transition into a different space. And finally, you may be constrained by the organization structure and its history.

For example, if you've never done manufacturing, it's hard to pivot from the service to manufacturing that we can be done.

And that's another call point to mention that you can do it. It's not impossible. It's just very hard and a lot of things have to go right. So, for example, Toyota created. It's a Lexus division.

But essentially had to create a completely different brand to be able to make that a viable option in the marketplace. And I'd be willing to bet a lot of people

Might have to look this up to double check. Don't know that Lexus is essentially a division of Toyota. So it's a good example of how perception really

Can sometimes for better sometimes for worse, really help you find the path that you should be off.

When you start thinking about the components of the strategy components of the plan. I think of them in two groups.

You have your foundational components and this is your mission your vision and new values are. In other words, what do you do

Why do you do it. And what do you believe what are your, your core operating principles, your core beliefs operational side or things like your goal.

So given your mission, vision and values. What do you hope to accomplish.

Your initiatives, how are you going to accomplish those goals. And finally, at the most, granular level the tasks. What are the specific activities you will undertake.

To move forward your initiatives. Now the language on the right side can vary a bit. These are just the terms that I like to use because I think they're fairly precise.

But again, it's just that idea of what do you hope to do, how will you do it. What specifically do you need to accomplish to get there.

Now, in terms of how you create those different components as different sides of strategic plan.

When it comes to the mission, vision and values those foundational pieces. These can be a little bit more top down.

There often developed by the team leads the organization, but in keeping with that idea of involving everyone these needs to be shared within validated by the entire organization.

On the operational side those goals and initiatives. These can be a bit more bottom up. There's a lot of real value in having these things be developed by the employees who do the work.

Right, who can really provide that unique perspective on things. But by the same token, these needs to be shared with and approved by the executive team. So really, as a partnership involved in getting this right.

The second part of an effective strategic plan is your financial and it turned a good financial model has three three features to

It's driven by clear assumptions, like it makes sense. There's a logic to it that you can explain them that's fairly visible.

The timeline is important, typically they'll cover five years rarely more sometimes less. And finally, to the extent that you can introducing some element of scenario analysis is worthwhile to at least give you a sense of what are the, the high, medium, and low

Options or alternatives or possibilities out there just to give you a little bit of framing for your, your financial model. So some modeling best practices.

First is make your models parameters and limitations clear. So what does that mean

It's important to clearly state things like there's your model phone follow a calendar year or fiscal year, or for some organizations and academic year, it makes a big difference in terms of cash flow, for example.

Are you including inflation that number ends up fairly quickly over a five year plan.

It's probably more important to make your limitations clear, remember you're making estimates, you're not making predictions.

This is your, your best guess at how things will play out and you need to make sure that people understand that.

The underlying conditions. I'm a true bottle model is based will change. And you can't anticipate all those changes. But what you can do, and we'll get to this is design a model that lets you adapt to those changes and reflective

Be conservative in your assumptions. So when in doubt, err on the side of overstating expenses slightly

Understanding revenues and probably overstating timelines, because things always take a little bit longer than you think.

Right, make sure you do periodic reality checks step back and question all of the assumptions and not just you. The Model Builder but review these things and discuss these things with the larger organization.

For example, if you're thinking about adding people is the headcount realist.

Are the starting salaries realistic is the timeline for bringing those people on board realistic do you have enough space to house all these people, these are important considerations of his reality checks really can make or break a plan.

And then another best practice and there's several other. We'll talk about that. Another one is make sure you haven't had a glance summary.

Your CEO or CFO your board is going to want to know, very simply, how much will this cost. And it's important that you have a clear, easy to understand answer to those questions.

The next best practices are maybe a little bit more nuts and bolts. But I think very important I think another key takeaways. Make your model of easy to update

So for example, if you are using inflationary. If you are using a fringe rate you're using those kinds of numbers that you'll be referring to constantly put them on their own page, give them their own home makes life a lot easier.

The flip side of that is if there are unique numbers like starting salary.

Start dates, things like that, call them out and highlight them in their own selves just makes it easier for anyone looking at the model to understand

What it is you're trying to show notes are very important. You won't remember

All the assumptions that you made you want to remember all that went into your thought process. But if you document as much as you can. Exit various you don't explain later on why you made the decisions that you make.

So just a few more modeling best practices. Use a consistent approach. So for example, if you're separating staff and executive worksheet how how salaries or staff and faculty salaries make those worksheets say

If there are certain consistencies that you can avoid highlight. But to the extent possible make everything look the same and feel the same and work the same will save you a lot of effort in the long run. And this last point is really important for scenario.

When you present different scenarios you want people to look at the numbers and look at the differences between the scenario. So you don't want them wondering how you did the math because you're presenting things in slightly different place.

So next is the implementation plans. Second part of an effective strategic plan at a basic level, this plan defines exactly what needs to be done.

By when and by her and also helps set the stage for how you talk about these activities because it frames them in a very specific way.

But if there's another key takeaway from this presentation. It's that your documentation plan is not just a to do list.

It certainly serves that purpose, but it's much more important than that the real value we think and implementation plan. It's not just that it organizes your action.

But it creates a sense of accountability and ownership and urgency around your strategy right engages all your key stakeholders.

And represents a real commitment. If you have a public document that says Tony will complete this task by September 30th Tony and better complete that task by September 30 right it's a shared sense of accountability.

It's also a very useful tool and thinking about change management. So, what I mean is we mentioned earlier, you might be adding new staff to the organization as part of your strategic plan.

At a basic level, you're going to have to think about the time and for doing that. Right. You need to draft job descriptions post the job schedule interviews hire people on board right

But then I think the natural extension of that is then thinking about if we are adding new people to be need additional space.

Do we need a new onboarding process do we need to change our salary structure do we need to revamp our learning and development structure. These are all things that flow out of taking a very structured approach to documenting all the tasks that you will need to accomplish to get your plan into action.

And last few slides here talking about executing the plan. So the whole organization is responsible for designing the plan. The whole organization.

Has ownership and accountability for this task we talked about. Therefore, the whole organization is accountable and responsible for executing on the planet.

And you really need to monitor your progress. So, making it one person's job or having a standing strategic planning subcommittee that is constantly looking at the implementation plan.

updating it revising it as needed is really an important tool and keeping things moving forward.

regular updates about your plan are important. I really do believe that it should be an agenda item on every department every all hands meeting.

Every executive team every, every board meeting, right, keeping it front and center and visible and making people report on the progress.

Makes it not just another project that you're doing, but really makes the strategic plan the heart of everything else that you're trying to accomplish.

On a final point a dashboard can be as simple as, you know, Gantt charts showing the duration of activities.

A red, yellow, blue, green stoplight chart to show whether or not you're on track. There are all sorts of online tools like smart sheet and Monday to let you organized

Tasks and create a dashboard, just having some visual representation of how you're progressing. I think is helpful invaluable as well. And then finally,

It's important to revisit and refresh the plan should look at your strategic plan every year and think about whether the assumptions are made are still valid.

Whether there have been changes internally or externally that involve making tweaks or adjustments to your plan, particularly that financial model that we talked about.

Even if you're staying the course, even if everything is on track and you're growing. Great.

It's important to recognize that and it gives you a fantastic tool to talk about with your internal organization, your board of directors.

Your donors, the community at large. That's a powerful message that you can include, for example, in an annual report.

And then finally, refresh your plan periodically five years is a long time right covert i think is distorted our sense of time and five years is still a very long time.

A lot of things will change and your plan needs to change accordingly. So what I advise clients to do is about the halfway point. So about three years in for a five year plan.

Step back and give it a good hard look and figure out whether you need to make any changes. There's nothing wrong with developing a five year plan.

And then the second one that overlaps with and in some ways replaces the first type. That's how we make progress. So with that, I'll turn it back to Jane for just a final recap.

Jane Brody: So of course, I think the theme is that you should engage everyone in your organization because everyone has a share in thinking about everything from your strategic vision to your implementation plan to the kinds of space that you need.

You want to develop an integrated real estate strategy that kind of considers everything you need to accomplish in your space.

And everything that you need to do in the future. So this is also kind of intertwined with your strategic vision.

You want to create a strategic vision a financial model and implementation plan that links all of these important elements into a successful plan for your organization.

Most important thing that I've been thinking about that Tony has said is you don't want this plan to sort of sit in a drawer and you never think about it, it's a living, breathing document.

And real estate is also something that's part of your ongoing thinking space doesn't go away. You can't wait to like three months before you have an issue. It's something you have to think about long term.

track your progress against your plan regularly revisit your plan, make sure it's something that is part of your conversation part of a vision, it's also for

Those of you have looked at the statistics of executive directors. It's kind of an aging group. You want to having it as a legacy for who

For whoever's going to step into your shoes. So it's an important planning tool for your organization and manage real estate's assets wisely.

It's an important consideration is often the second biggest expense in your budget and make sure that you can

Manage your expenses. I was an executive director and a board member of our organization that we chose a space that was too expensive. The organization eventually went out of business.

So I always think of that as a great lesson and thinking about what smart for organization. So it looks like Tony. We have a couple of questions. So why don't we start with

What, what would you say is a realistic time frame start and finish for the strategic plan to occur.

Tony Pillari: That's a great question.

It takes quite a while where we're talking about gathering a lot of information, making sense out of it.

integrating it into a plan developing a model and implementation plan, thinking about your real estate strategy, putting that in place.

In my experience, I think at the very outside probably about six months can take, you know, up to 912 months I've seen that happen as well, it depends a bit perhaps on the size of your organization. But certainly I think that six month mark is a very realistic estimate

Jane Brody: And Christopher Anderson also asked, What's a good number of high level goals to base the plan on I'm thinking a range of three to five goals, what's your advice, Tony.

Tony Pillari: Yeah, I think that's an ideal. Ideal range more than that. And it just, it just

You just into that trying to build towards and Ferrari's right so if we're thinking about goals are. What are the main things you want to accomplish.

Three to five. Sounds about right. Each of those three to five goals in turn might have one or two initiatives, right, and that's that's what goes into your public facing plan.

The average reader of your strategic plan, assuming there is one, it's probably not too interested in the nuts and bolts of how you get things done.

If you have three to five goals wanted two initiatives per goal. I think that's reasonable body work to try and accomplish, and I think it makes for a very cohesive plan.

Jane Brody: And I also want to mention that I think it's important you know there was talking about this mission creep.

That it really fits into what you are designed and your framers figured out that you should be working on. So how does it tie back to

Why were you established, who are you supposed to be serving. What's the vision. The mission of the organization. So I think always watching out for how do you fit within the nonprofit framework and what you're supposed to accomplish.

We have another question that's we're thinking about a short term strategic plan more immediately one year, leading to a longer strategic plan three years, as we see how code plays out. Does that seem right.

We just don't feel like we can make high impact decisions right now, especially as they involve resources, we may or may not have great question.

Tony Pillari: That is a really great question. I think that's a perfectly logical approach, given how much things have changed and how much they are likely to continue to change.

Long Range Planning is very, very difficult to do. So taking that shorter term approach.

Figuring out you know how to get through the next year, as you said, really helps you set the stage for a thoughtful meaningful.

Longer term strategic planning effort. So you can think of this as revisiting and revitalizing or revising a one year plan.

And stretching and into something that's a little bit longer. I think that makes perfect sense. I've seen organizations do things along the lines of

Split the visioning part of things in the mission, vision value part as one body of work and then

revisiting that and thinking about the goals and the mission is to answer and then maybe someone along the lines of what you're thinking about. But that said, I think it's perfectly acceptable to develop

You know, a traditional shall be called strategic plan that we've been discussing with a fairly short time frame.

Jane Brody: I please ask another great question what are advantages, disadvantages of having an outside facilitator to guide the process.

Tony Pillari: It's a good question. I think there are a number of advantages. I think in a practical sense this is a really significant body of work and it can be very difficult for someone in your organization to carve out the time necessary to get it done. When I say someone in your organization and someone who has

Experience with strategic planning is perhaps been with the organization for a while, who really understands how to accomplish a task like this. So that's a very basic level, I think, at a more

You know, sort of more of an advisory level you're outside person has a vested interest in your success.

It doesn't necessarily have a vested interest in a specific outcome. That's what I'm getting out there as an outside person can sometimes bring the level of objectivity.

That may be missing from within the organization. So that's another another advantage and then outside perspective. Let's that external advisor.

Maybe ask questions that wouldn't occur to the internal group. So that's another value that that bring to the fore.

I think that the disadvantage, to be frank, is this is a person from outside the organization, they may or may not make the effort to really understand your organization, they may or may not structure this process and that they're living and breathing it with you.

Day to day the strategic planning initiatives that I've been with him that Jane has been involved with really and better, and better ourselves in the organization because that's really what it takes to do this effectively.

Jane Brody: I think I would also piggyback on that sometimes because you might have, you know, more dominant Pete roles in the organization. It can be hard to kind of look at everything.

Across the board, when you don't have an outside person sometimes other things become more emphasized because of a particular person or program that's highly desirable instead of maybe looking at the big picture. I think there's strengths and weaknesses to having an outside person.

But they have to have time to focus in on it if you do go internal. Another question is, is there a sample plan or particular excellent publicly facing plan that you recommend we review to get an idea of the depth and scope.

Tony Pillari: I think it depends a bit on your organization. We talked earlier about doing competitor analysis and doing benchmarking analysis. So you might want to look

To another organization in your field that's very close to you, you might want to look at your more aspirational peers.

Have to get back to you on some some good examples, there's certainly some out there, but we can when we send the slides out we can send some links to some plans that are worth looking at.

Jane Brody: Great Ron has a really interesting question with us, NPR that operates in international markets in a five year plans don't practical. How do you deal with it in an international business political trend environment. Yeah.

Tony Pillari: That's a good question, and it gets to that that issue volatility that we were talking about earlier with respect to code.

I think for a case like that five years maybe longer horizon that we want to deal with.

We mentioned earlier that shorter plans certainly makes sense. And this is probably one of those examples really do make sense.

That said that process of, you know, treating the plan like a living document, creating a financial model that's flexible and that can account for changes in the marketplace revisiting the plan regularly.

Is another important part of that approach. Right. So picking the right time for him again for situations volatiles this perhaps three years but designing things in a way that you're constantly looking at and thinking about the plan and revising it as you need to.

Jane Brody: I run. I also sympathize. I know, of course, change of presidents is going to play a big part so I can only imagine you've got, like, all different things to consider. So good luck with thinking through that.

Christopher asked another question. Would you recommend a planning retreat or mini retreat for each of the stakeholders staff board, etc. As you begin the strategic planning process.

Tony Pillari: I think the answer there is

Maybe yes and no explain what I mean. Part of it depends on how you're structuring the process as a whole, how you want that process to roll out

Where you are, you know, as an organization where you are in terms of strategic planning. So it may not be absolutely necessary.

On the whole, I think it is a good idea, having a kind of formal kickoff like that that kind of formal brainstorming session is valuable.

It creates a sense of excitement or we talked about that idea of urgency and accountability and ownership excitement is an important component of strategic planning.

As well, believe it or not. And the only reason I would say no. And I don't mean to pick nuts is the way you framed your question. I don't necessarily know that I would have a retreat for just the staff and just the board.

Certainly, it can be challenging to bring those two groups together. But I think the more cross pollination. You can get across the process, the better off you'll be so you might do something like some kind of retreat for board external advisors major donors.

And then a second retreat perhaps for staff what you might call junior leadership and senior leadership, I might frame it that. But the short answer your questions. Yes. I think something like that can be very valuable for a lot of reasons.

Jane Brody: I think that's it for the questions we we certainly would love to hear if anyone else has anything else on their mind and of course I just both Tony and I feel

And Melissa that these are incredibly challenging times for nonprofits and we want you to have the greatest success and continue your critical work and we commend you for what you do. So we, we think

World of what you accomplish, and we're just really happy to give you some resources and look forward to working with you and being supportive of your work. So thank you for all that you do and how you contribute to the world.

Tony Pillari: Yes, thank you.

Jane Brody: Thank you.

Melissa Waters: Yes, thank you, Jane, and Tony and if anybody has questions following the webinar, please reach out to us, we'll have a way to do that through the follow up email and we can put you in touch with them.

But I want to thank everyone for attending today and for Tony and James time. We hope that you enjoyed the presentation.

And if you're interested. Jane is wonderful and will be doing another webinar for us. And just a couple weeks. So make sure to sign up for that.

You can find all of our webinars at JM T consulting com and you'll see the Events tab, we would love for you to join us and I think I just saw another chat pop in

Make sure we don't have any questions. No, people just saying thank you so we appreciate it and we'll let everyone have a little bit of their time back. So, have a wonderful day. Thank you.

Jane Brody: Bye bye. Thank you.

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