UPCOMING: Co-Creation 101  | March 12th, 2024 11:00am - 12:00pm MDT

8 Signs Your Strategic Plan Isn’t Working

October 5, 2023

Show Notes

Ever felt like your strategic plan is more of a relic than a roadmap?

A strategic plan should be the lifeblood of any organization, guiding its direction and ensuring a cohesive approach to achieving its vision.

Unfortunately, even the most meticulously crafted plans can end up collecting dust on the shelf instead of creating real impact. Recognizing the signs of a plan that’s not delivering can be the difference between stagnation and growth.

In this episode of THRIVERS, Tucker and Sarah unravel the intricacies of strategic planning, highlighting how even the best-laid plans can sometimes miss the mark. They emphasize the importance of ensuring that the strategic plan is not an isolated document but is deeply integrated into the daily operations of the organization. A shift from mere activities to measurable impacts can be the game-changer in driving genuine organizational change.

Key takeaways from their discussion include:

The necessity of regular updates to the plan, ensuring its relevance and alignment with evolving goals.
The critical distinction between the “WHAT” (strategic direction) and the “HOW” (operational plan) of achieving objectives.
The power of visuals in making the plan more accessible and engaging, and the importance of involving those closest to the work in its creation and execution.

Tune in to this episode and equip yourself with actionable steps to ensure your strategic plan is a dynamic tool propelling your organization to its goals.

Listener Links/Resources:

GNMH Strategic Direction Document

Strategy Energizer Process

Need to create a strategic plan (or breathe life into your existing one)? Schedule a free Design Session and we’ll explore the areas of opportunity and co-create a plan that fits your organization’s needs and budget.

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Transcript

Tucker: Welcome to THRIVERS: Nonprofit Leadership for the Next Normal. I’m your host, Tucker Wanamaker, the CEO of THRIVE IMPACT, and our mission is to solve nonprofit leader burnout. Burnout is the enemy of creating positive change. We want to connect you with impactful mission-driven leaders and ideas so that you can learn to thrive in today’s nonprofit landscape.
Today, I’m joined by my co-host as usual, Sarah Fanslau. Sarah, good to be with you here on the show.
Sarah: Good to be here.
Tucker: And as we were reflecting on what we wanted to talk about today a lot of times this podcast is, frankly, a lot of our own learning that we are going through and noticing as we’re working with a lot of different nonprofits and actually impact-driven businesses too, across the country.
And one particular thing that keeps coming up is the significant amount of issues around strategic plans. And I know we’ve talked about strategic plans and strategic planning before. We’re working with quite a few of upgrading their strategic plan right now. We’re noticing, and we’re just noticing a lot of things that we wanted to go through.
So we wanted to hit on signs that your strategic plan isn’t helping you or isn’t working for you right now. Because this keeps coming up. And it’s amazing how much we put into strategic planning. We spend money, we spend time, we go on retreats, we do workshops. And all of those resources in so many situations are in vain, basically, in some respects.
This is essentially something, again, the whole cliché, sitting on the shelf gathering dust. I thought we’d talk about that today, Sarah. Does that sound good? Because I know you, you were bringing this up, but you’re like, oh my gosh, why is this compartmentalized? Or why is this happening with these organizations?
Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, I feel like we’re surprised every time something new comes up and it’s like, “Wait, what?” I was saying to you just earlier, it’s I feel like there’s a real… It’s strategic planning is like at a crisis point, because it is being done in such odd ways. And then you come in and you look at a plan as an outsider.
And you think, “Okay if I was sitting in that chair as a staff member, an executive director, how would I take what’s here and use it to guide my three to five years?” And the answer is often, I don’t know. And if that’s the case, like that plan has failed. It’s failed.
Tucker: Totally. Totally. Let’s hop into it.
We want to just hit these and this is again based on our not only our own research but also a lived experience around what we’ve seen as to why strategic plans might not be working for you and might not be helping you. It doesn’t mean you don’t do strategic planning. It means is this perhaps you might be aware of signs that will allow for you to be able to make some shifts to be able to refresh and re-energize your strategic plan.
As I was saying we’re doing this quite a few times now, nowadays, right now, because again, people are like we’ve learned a lot, but we have this document that’s just sitting there and it’s the static thing that nobody really knows what’s going on.
So let’s hop into some of the signs. One of the big ones Sarah, I think that we’ve is that it feels separated from the rest of the work. I know we’re going through a process right now and I’d love for you to build upon this, which is, we’re going through a process right now—I’ve heard you say from some of the people that are involved in this process at the nonprofit—that they’re like surprising you with new information, surprising you with, “Oh, wait, you’re doing all this stuff,” and they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t realize that was a part of the strategic plan.”
Like I’m doing all this other work and like this complete compartmentalization. Of the strategic plan from the rest of our actual work, Sarah, tell us about what’s what you’ve been noticing on that.
Sarah: Yeah. It was really interesting. This is really a refresh of an existing strategic plan that, had measurable, some measurable targets and some that needed to be defined after a baseline was set, which is typical.
Oftentimes nonprofits don’t have data infrastructure to gather and keep a lot of baseline data. And so oftentimes part of strategic planning is about getting the data you need to then be able to project a percent increase or decrease or whatever it is. And in this case, I spent a ton of time with the staff at this organization really digging into what they had done, what they had measured, what they could measure in support of living into the essence of the original strategic direction.
And, I had hours and hours of conversation and we were, a few days before bringing the targets back to the board and I was offering some suggestions around validated skills that could be used to measure a specific outcome.
And all of a sudden, one of the staff members said, “Oh there is this other survey that we are using that was created by a person with real expertise in this area, but it’s for this other project. It’s not for the strategic plan.”
And I said, “Hold on. It’s measuring. It’s measuring literally what we’re setting out to measure in the strategic plan. You’re already doing it. You have a plan for a pre and post-assessment with a sample of folks from your population. Like, why would we not use this work you’re already doing?” And the answer was just, “It’s not, it wasn’t for the strategic plan.” Which just blew my mind.
And I think to your point really gets to this piece where folks put on this, these blinders where it’s unless it was thought about for the strategic plan, we can’t count it. It’s almost like folks think it’s cheating. To be like, “Oh, we’re doing this work over here. But it wasn’t part of the plan, so I can’t count it.”
Tucker: Yeah. It’s like it gets compartmentalized from the beginning and this is no fault to this nonprofit leader either. But it’s it’s almost there’s this just, we create, like you said, this blinder. Ideally doesn’t the strategic plan… Especially from a program and impact perspective, this is where the work is fitting.
Which is another sign, which is not using the strategic direction to make decisions for your organization. Yeah. Sarah, your now world-famous quote that I love all the time is, “Your nos give power to your most important yeses.” And if you’re… Another sign of your strategic direction not working for you is that you actually are not able to use it to be able to make decisions on what you should say yes to and what you should say no to.
Sarah: Yeah. Big time. I think the reality is that there’s always a million things to focus on. But in this, while it doesn’t make sense to see the silo a strategic plan for the rest of the work. I think the other thing we’ve seen to your point is that strategic plans can also be like, we’re going to do everything in the next three to five years.
We’re going to do revenue. We’re going to do partnerships. We’re going to change our programs. We’re going to reach new people. Especially in a way where there’s not a measurable target around it. So it’s not specific. And it’s general. I think that’s the other thing that really gets in folks’ way because it seems to be either that we’re putting the plan over here in a little box, or it’s literally all the things without any definition around what we need to focus on right now in support of being competitive or more competitive in the next three to five years.
Tucker: Yeah. So along with that, it’s not able to be a decision-making framework for you get into that. There’s many times one of the signs for you to think about, listeners out there, is a complete lack of measurable targets. And that’s where the decision many times comes in, which is does this help us achieve that measurable target?
Does this help us achieve that thing that we have agreed to, that we are setting out to do?
Sarah: Yeah. And I think this goes to this, Tucker, I think we’ve given this example before, but sometimes when we’re doing workshops with folks, I think the problem is people think they’re on the same page about what they’re trying to change, even if they don’t have a measurable target.
And so I often do an example of, let’s say we want to get healthier. How might we measure that? And people put 15 different measurable ways to look at improved health in the chat. I could lose weight, I could run a marathon, I could… and that’s the point. When we say things like, we want to increase partnerships. With who? Why? How many?
And so without that specificity, it becomes everything and nothing at the same time. And I think one of the organizations we’ve seen be really successful here is one we’ve talked about before, the large mental health organization on the East Coast. And part of what they really wanted to work on was a number of things around client satisfaction.
And so we set a specific target for client satisfaction. But also we said, “You know what? The other thing we want to do is reduce wait times for people to access service.” Because we know that has a significant impact on client satisfaction. And so again, like if we had just said, We want to improve satisfaction, but didn’t have specific measurable targets.
They could have focused on a million different things. But we zeroed in on wait times because that was the real issue that was impacting satisfaction at their organization.
Tucker: I love your example. Whenever you use the I want to get healthy. And I love it when we do that in the workshop because people put up in the chat. All kinds of different things. It’s now it’s oh, wait. So which one are we doing? Are we doing all of them or doing some of them?
Not really sure. And getting a little bit more specificity around those targets. So helpful. It’s like a second part of this is, and I like what your example was really helpful, which was many times a sign that your strategic plan is not working for you is that it’s focused on activities, not on impact.
And you use the example of wait time. Reducing wait time is an activity, but it was in reference to an impact, which is satisfaction. Like we want our, the accessibility and satisfaction of those who are coming in to receive mental health services to go up. That’s an outcome measure, not an activity measure.
And so where do people get stuck when it comes to the “outputs and activities” versus the “outcomes and the impact” and not having those in the strategic plan?
Sarah: Yeah, I think this is a real piece. And one thing on the wait time is, it’s easy to say we want to decrease wait time. But this was a specific piece around we want to decrease the wait time from 45 days to 30 days.
And then there were some other measures related to what that could do, which is, to your point, satisfaction, but also some pieces around things like reduced psychiatric use of beds. Things like that. In some places, it’s really important to say we need to look at the specific thing that we know needs to be improved.
And we really need to improve it. And there are activities one could do in support of decreasing wait time, which is what this organization is focusing on. They’re saying, “Okay, actually, what we need to do is look at who’s in line, how often they’ve been in line, and how often they’ve taken that first step into care and then bounced back out.”
And so what that target helped them do was look at who was in their line and who was “waiting” much differently. And what they realized is that the metric around wait time was actually it was telling them it was actually a little confusing cause there were a number of different folks in the line.
But an activity in support of reducing wait time could be something like. Which they were focused on providing group care, right? Instead of individualized care until an individualized therapist became available, but oftentimes what we see in strategic plans are people saying things like we’re going to like I said, “increase partnerships.”
That’s great. That’s an activity. But again, the point that we want to say is by how much, which is an output measure, and to what end, which is an outcome measure. So what difference is that going to make for us as an organization and for the folks we serve? And how many folks do we want to partner with?
So that it just gets specific. And I think what we’ve seen is that without that specificity it’s impossible to know if you’re on the right track. You may be doing a ton of things, but that doesn’t mean it’s translating into the change that you all are hoping to see.
Tucker: So let’s go to another sign, Sarah, on this, which is you started to hit on learning a little bit. I think another sign that your strategic direction is not working is that you haven’t updated it. Maybe even at least six months or maybe at least a year. You haven’t updated it. I know that some of the strategic directions that we help people and support them on is, sometimes they don’t have, how much they need to increase the wait time as an example.
Or decrease, sorry, decrease the wait time. Sometimes there’s no baseline at all because they’ve realized they haven’t been measuring this, but they want to have this type of impact. And so sometimes literally what goes in the strategic direction is an X percent increase. And because the goal is to establish a baseline over the first six months to a year.
And then the intent is to then update that. Now, whether you’re trying to create a baseline or you already have some specific impact or outcome metrics is great. Regardless of whatever you have there, you learn a lot. And I think that’s one of the big things that we see consistently.
And we, you’ll, you’re hearing our language around saying strategic plan. And we also say strategic direction. We actually prefer to say strategic direction because it’s a direction that you’re learning into, but that’s definitely one sign that that the longer you go without applying learning to your strategic direction, frankly, this is what I’ve experienced with these, with a lot of these nonprofits, the more tension that gets built and the more compartmentalization that gets built.
Between our actual work and the strategic direction, because the longer it goes without being updated, frankly, the more irrelevant it feels like it actually is.
Sarah: Yeah, big time. And I think this is where folks get into trouble is that it’s this combination of not having defined measures of success.
So we’re not on the same page about what that looks like. And then to your point if that’s true, I might be saying, Oh, I’m doing all of this work. And my board might be saying, “That’s great, Sarah, but what impact are you making?” And if we haven’t agreed on the target, then one, I don’t know. And two, we’re not on the same page maybe about that.
And then to your point, if we’ve learned a need to update or change what we want to measure, we’re stuck because like first, there wasn’t a measurable goal to begin with. So we’re not sure how to apply the learnings in. We’re not sure how to say how or whether that might shift what we set out to measure.
And so this is why I think to your point, it’s so important to, one, even if you don’t have the exact percent increase or decrease or change of a metric, you need to agree on the thing you want to shift. Because then you can learn into it. Otherwise, it’s really hard because that example around getting healthy, everybody might have a different idea around what that really means.
Tucker: And I, as you were saying, we need to agree on what we need to shift. And. I think this gets into the I’m going to say the fourth sign that I think we have an order here. Pretty much these are in no particular order, but these are just how they’re coming up. But the fourth sign to me is that you have no sequencing, or sorry, you have no rhythms of learning itself.
So not only are you not, have you not updated it, but you’re not applying a rhythm of learning by saying, “Hey…” Every six months, like a lot of times we recommend boards and staff to come back together minimum of six months to say, “What are we learning? What have we learned about the strategic direction and what needs to be updated?”
And so it’s hard to update, your strategic direction if you don’t have a rhythm around actually asking those questions and reflecting back, over the last six months to see what needs to be updated because of what we’ve learned.
Sarah: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s right on.
And in one of the… Actually, strategic plan for the nonprofit on the East Coast working in mental health that I was just mentioning. One thing that we put in their plan was learning milestones and then targets. And we did that because for example, if there’s no baseline data around something and first you need to capture the baseline data and then you need to pilot some activities and then you need to learn from those activities in relation to how or whether they’re helping you reach your target and then you need to adjust those.
Those are oftentimes people get stuck looking at the end target without thinking about the steps they need to do or the things they need to learn or the questions they need to ask in advance. And so that’s one of the things that I really like doing in support of helping nonprofits, especially those who need to capture a lot of baseline data to think about in support of that.
And then you’re right. The question is, once things have been set, how do we get into a rhythm that helps us get it done? And we at Thrive have kind of a set of what we call roles, rhythms, and results. That we help folks think about, I think it’s not just about how often are we going to meet, but it’s who is going to be the process driver of the project.
And then what are the teams or who are the teams that are going to actually work on getting the work done? And those are a few things that we’ve learned consistently are just so important. Cause if you don’t have that, the plan’s going to go on the shelf. It just will.
Tucker: Yeah. And I think that’s a tying onto that rhythms of learning.
One of the ways that we’ve seen a strategic direction not work for organizations is that we don’t see the strategic direction and then the operational direction. And frankly, most of these should be different documents or these should be different things that are going on. We like to say the strategic direction is the what.
It’s about the impact and the outcomes that we’re trying to achieve and it’s what the board signs off on. And the board is involved and should be almost completely involved in the what. But then the operationalizing of it is the how. It’s the how. And when the board tends to get more involved in the how… Now, every organization is a little bit different.
Some, typically the bigger you are, the less your board is involved in the how, but some of you who are small, really small in nonprofits, you may have a little more of a working board. But yet I still think it’s an important distinction to be able to differentiate between the what and the how and having two separate components of that.
So a lot of times, one of the signs that your strategic direction is not working for you is that you have no how. project plans, sequences, roles, rhythms, results, what you were hitting on, Sarah, that are associated with the what of the strategic direction itself. But part of the reason for that distinction is because, if we don’t create a distinction between the what and the how, then it all just gets really muddled, and we then stop realizing what… Or we get really a lack of clarity of what’s the role of all the different people who are involved in this? And so that’s one of the things I’ve noticed as a scientist, is not having a clear distinction between the what and the how, and then all the roles like getting all muddled together, basically.
Sarah: Yeah, for sure. And this, I think, gets into the reporting piece. A lot of folks, I think, stop after the plan is “done.” And they have this document that they’re super excited about. And, maybe they get into the work and maybe they’re not quite sure how. But regardless, I think one thing that we’ve seen particularly makes this what and how challenging is like, how do I report on the progress or the success of the plan and who is it appropriate to share what with. So if the board is in charge of the what we need to be sharing progress with the board around the outcomes right or the impact that the strategic plan is making, not necessarily how we’re going about doing that, which is I think what you’re saying, but this is where it gets muddled, especially if our plan is primarily activities, which is how not what.
And so this is where I think a lot of these plans were seeing lately that are primarily activity based, man, that’s a slippery slope. Because all of a sudden, really what you’re going to be sharing with other people is just a list of the things that you’ve done rather than the change that you’ve made possible as a result of it.
And that’s really not the purview of the board in many places.
Tucker: Another one of the signs, Sarah, that you were just sharing that I was thinking about is a sign that your strategic plan is not working for you is that you have zero impact metrics for internal work. That’s the old cliche, like to get you where you’re going is not… What got you where you are is not what’s going to get you where you’re going.
Sarah: And it’s true. It’s a hundred percent true.
Tucker: We’re going through this inside of thrive impact too. You’ve been helping me to remind me of, that’s not our, we call it our 10x future—which we’re going to have a podcast series about here, probably soon about this journey—but what’s going to get you where you want to go in your new strategic direction is not what got you where you’re at now.
This means that there’s a shift that you need to make internally, always every time. Every time. And so if you don’t have any kind of impact or outcome metrics on the inside Then it’s really gonna be difficult to be able to get where you’re wanting to go. I was just talking to a nonprofit leader yesterday really her story she was actually… She’s a podcast listener. So if you’re listening, thanks for listening. And that’s how she found out about us, which was cool. And she really just opened up and said, “I’m struggling with burnout.” Quite straight up. She was struggling with burnout. She’s a program director. And, I was talking to her about some of these, next-normal leadership types of skills around particularly around co-creation and conscious leadership and things like that we do.
And, she mentioned something which was, “Yeah, we actually co-create a lot. We co-create in our organization.” And I was curious because it sounded very similar to my own burnout story which was, that I worked at an organization that had this vision for the world but didn’t live into that vision on the inside.
And so I actually asked her, I said, “Hey, does your organization do they co-create… It sounds like they co-create a lot of external strategies. Program impact strategies. Do you ever co-create anything for your own culture? Co-create around your process for how you work together and how you choose to show up for one another.”
And she said, “You know what? No, we don’t.” And this is a very clear sign that your strategic direction is not working for you. Is that you don’t have any kind of those metrics or those, and then subsequently those activities that you need to do in order to achieve those metrics in order to create the type of culture that you needed to achieve that impact you’re not creating impact from the inside out.
Sarah: Yep. Yeah, absolutely. One thing I’ve been looking at lately is. The surveys folks often do in advance of strategic planning to understand all the things happening in an organization. And almost all of them are a hundred percent externally focused, right? Maybe they touch on kind of infrastructure or fundraising, but none of them are asking about culture.
And I think that’s one thing that we do that is really different. And, honestly, sometimes means that in a few organizations we’ve worked with, we’ve asked questions about, the present, the future, and the culture. And realized that there’s a lot of work to do on culture really before the strategic planning can happen.
It’s like that Drucker quote around, “Culture eats strategy.” You can’t disconnect the two. And if your organizational culture is in shambles you may as well pass on strategic planning and you get going on culture before you hit strategy.
Tucker: For sure. For sure. And this is why, in our strategic direction documents, we have a very clear visual, which will be another sign here in just a minute. And in that, I have typically three impact pillars, which are those external pieces that are specific to outcomes.
And we’ve already talked about that. And underneath it, we call it the impact foundation is like, for example, one of the organizations out in DC that we’ve worked with the name of their impact foundation is a culture of compassion, focus, and support. And under that, they have three strategic objectives that they want to hit particularly around, they realized that they need to create a much better-annualized work plan in order to be able to help the staff to feel like they know exactly what, or know the path that they need to run on.
And these were, and this is this impact foundation is very specific to every organization, right? Every organization is a little bit different. To your point, Sarah, some are in the throes of lots of toxicity. Some need to really update diversity, equity, and inclusion, that’s typically in there.
Some need to update their own like understanding of their staffing needs and having a staffing model that really works for the impact that they’re trying to have. Every organization is a little bit different. But making sure to have that specific conversation and those specific metrics that are key to your organization are…
If you don’t have those, you might as well, like what you said, you might as well not even have a strategic direction because it’s really hard to create impact on the outside when you don’t have impact on the inside.
Sarah: Yeah. And to your point, your burnout and my burnout story are different, but they share one really important thing in common, which is that it was about the organization’s external face, not matching with what was happening internally.
And that disconnect between the outside and the inside, I think is one of the primary drivers of burnout. And so as we think about planning, it feels like such a no-brainer to say we’ve got to plan for who we need to be in order to do our work, not just what work do we want to do.
Tucker: Yeah, so important.
And then one I wanted to mention, and I think this may wrap us up, although Sarah, I’m curious if you have any other signs. Is that your strategic direction reads like a report. Now this one’s a little bit more specific or a little bit different than the ones we just talked about. We just went into culture and we talked a lot about impact metrics and learning journeys and all that kind of thing.
But this is one that for me as a very visual learner. I’ve seen a variety of strategic directions that are just like long narrative. And to me, that’s actually not accessible at all to most people. That is not accessible. If you think about like newspapers, right? Newspapers have headlines and then they have sub-headlines and then they have then they go in if you want them to go deeper, you can.
And a lot of people don’t think about this in terms of creating. Something that is able to have especially visuals too, so not just having clear headlines, but also visuals. And that’s why for us, we always, we literally create a top level we call it an impact pyramid just to make it digestible.
And then people can go deeper into it, but when it’s all just like a report and that’s the whole thing. It is so difficult for people to access that. And that’s people inside and people outside.
Sarah: Yeah. I completely agree. We just looked at a strategic plan earlier this morning and I’m like, I’m not quite sure what they’re doing.
And it’s because there was no part that really said that was just a high-level focus. And I think to your point, the visual is so powerful because it helps communicate in a really short timeframe what the organization is focused on in a way that you can put on a flyer, you can put it on social media.
Like all of these things that you can do. And instead of saying, let me email you my 25-page strategic plan, which a few people are going to actually read.
Tucker: Sarah, I’m thinking about Dr. Cynthia Whitaker, who we’ve been talking about with his, with the mental health organization. And she said, “By having this high-level visual, it became such a helpful communication tool.”
And again, I think that we greatly, many times, underestimate the power of having simple communications. And a clear sign that your strategic direction is not working for you is that it doesn’t have something visual and high level and clear that people can orient around. In order to then go deeper into the plan into both the what, as we talked about, and also into the how. If you don’t start it off from something at a high level and a visual that you all can understand—and we’ll put examples of some of the strategic directions so you can see what we’re talking about up into the show notes—but if you don’t have that, it really becomes difficult for people.
The last one, Sarah, that we came up with, and then we’ll wrap. And this is one we’ve talked about probably ad nauseam, but for very important reason is that people aren’t bought in. People aren’t bought in. You might hear language from people of, “Yeah, it’s fine,” or, “Yeah, no, the board did that.” Or like… We were just talking to somebody at a substantial community foundation saying that the staff was literally not allowed to participate in the conversations. And I was like, which really is a problem because.
If you don’t have those who are most proximate to the work driving what the strategy needs to look like, now, it doesn’t mean that the board’s not involved. The board is what they’re choosing on things and their insight is very important. And if you don’t have those who are most proximate to this work at the beginning and through the strategic planning process, and then again, in that learning journey that we just talked about, that is a clear sign that this strategic direction or plan is not working for you. Is that if you don’t have that buy-in and particularly that tends to happen at the beginning when they’re just not even involved in a very human way in the first place.
Sarah: Yeah, I think this is such a big one. And to your point, and to be fair, historically, strategic plans were created, maybe at a board retreat over the course of a day.
And I think it’s really shifted where it’s now expected that staff participate and board participate in a really meaningful manner. I think the other thing to think about here is that the plan doesn’t get stuck, even if it’s at the staff level at the higher staff level, just at the directors or the VPs understanding the plan.
I think one of the key pieces we’ve seen is really leveraging the strategic plan as an opportunity to support the development and learning of younger staff members who are hungry for things to do that might be outside of their typical day-to-day. And that the strategic plan really offers them a window to jump into or stretch into something new.
And so I agree, this is, I think one of the most important ones, aside from having measurable targets is including all the voices, not just in the creation of it, but then also in the implementation of it.
Tucker: Totally. As one of my mentors, Jon Berghoff says, “People have energy towards what they get to create.”
And it reduces when you do co-create this and you involve them in a very human way, not in a survey, but in a very human way. Surveys can be useful tools, but when you can involve them in this process. It reduces actually many of the signs that we just talked about, right? It reduces the compartmentalization.
It reduces the lack of sequencing and the lack of rhythms that we’re involved in, because they’re going, people are going to start bringing that up. And so these are the this is a really key piece to make sure you have, and if you haven’t if you have a strategic direction that you’ve put together and it’s, you’ve noticed some of these signs and yours, it’s okay, it’s not too late.
The best time to create a great strategic direction was probably when you first created it. But the second best time is right now. And so if you’re in that place and you’re like, “Oh man, some of these signs, we’re struggling, this is a thing that just sits up there. It’s too lofty. We’re not sure what to do. We don’t really think about it. It’s compartmentalized. There’s not buy in. It’s not visual.”
All these different things that we just talked about. It’s okay. There is still hope for you being able to really upgrade and energize your strategic plan. So if we can support you all on that, let us know we’ll have a link to connect with us in the show notes. Which by the way are on our website If you go to thriveimpact.org/podcast/ and then find the podcast that you like it’s in there. You can look and grab a variety of different links that we tend to reference throughout. So we’ll put some of those things in the show notes for this one, which includes some of these different signs, as well as some examples of strategic directions that you can reference as examples and take a look.
Other than that Sarah, any last words of wisdom before we go?
Sarah: I like what you said. Now is the second best time.
Tucker: The second best time is right now, get that updated. Otherwise, it’s just going to be this hanging weight. Always sitting there. You’re wondering what are we doing with it. All right.
Everybody, thanks for listening in today and we’ll see you on the next episode. Bye, everyone.
Sarah: Thanks y’all.