Top positive review
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Valuable Resource for Teaching Strategic Planning
on December 15, 2013
I use this as a textbook in an undergraduate and graduate course on strategic planning for nonprofit. There are MANY good strategic planning books to choose from. I use this because it has a CD with worksheets in the back that I find very helpful in providing a checklist, set of minimum considerations and as a brainstorming tool.
For someone wanting to have a general sense of an approach to strategic planning this book is useful. Some critiques of this book:
* It's challenging for small scale nonprofits to see themselves doing this. We need to write a practical book for smaller nonprofits that is written from a consultants point of view and that considers scalability.
* It reads more like a strategic planning approach, particularly Chapter 5, for for-profit large corporations. From a consultants viewpoint (I spent 28 years consulting) - this reads like an excerpt from a textbook with little consideration for organization size, purpose, or analysis considerations. This section misses the practical way data collected is analyzed, considered, and then translated into strategies. Additionally there are much simpler prioritization methods that lead to organizational buy in and clarity of future direction and why a future direction was chosen. This chapter missed the mark.
* Implementation is positioned as part of a the strategic planning effort. I understand this rationale, however, my experience indicates that while there is a connection, it is prudent to separate implementation from planning. Practically speaking - implementation may occur later in the planning horizon, things may change, personnel may change - why spend the time up front planning implementation? Plus, the intersection of the strategic plan and implementation planning within a continuous improvement framework suggests a plan implementation as you go approach because you're adjusting, tweaking, and refining as you go.
While it seems I offer more critiques than positive about this book - I have successfully used it within classes for 4+ years where I drew upon my 28 years doing strategic planning, I could facilitate around some of the text that I thought didn't meet real world experience and practicality.