Strategic Planning
Board Assist
Training & TA


Strategic Solutions helps organizations assess and respond to organizational change, economic trends and competitive demands likely to have a significant impact over the next 5-10 years by creating a strategic plan that supports the achievement of organizational goals.

Creating a Strategic  Plan for your Organization

First, SSI conducts one or more in a series of comprehensive Organizational Assessments to help determine an organization's strengths and weakness, target markets, threats to success, ability to adapt to change, and policy or program challenges, as well as to clarify organizational mission and vision. 

See Organizational Assessments below.

Second, SSI develops strategic goal statements consistent with your mission statement and organizational lifecycle (see Lifecycles below). Strategic goals are broad statements of what the organization hopes to achieve in the next three to five years. Goals focus on outcomes or results and are qualitative in nature.

We then develop strategies for each goal. Strategies are statements of major approach or method for attaining goals and resolving specific issues. Strategies emerge from the earlier assessments: change, needs, issues and market assessments; particularly strengths and weaknesses identified in the needs assessment as well as implication statements developed as part of the market and issues assessments.

Effective Strategies

An effective strategy does one or more of the following:

1.  Exploits environmental opportunities
2.  Defends against environmental threats
3.  Leverages organizational competencies
4.  Corrects organizational deficiencies
5.  Offers some basis for future competitive advantage
6.  Combats forces eroding current competitive position ______________________________________________________________________

Organizational Assessments

SSI offers six interconnected Organizational Assessments:  

1. Change Assessment
:  SSI examines political, economic, technological, cultural, demographic, competitive and philanthropic trends that may affect your organization over the next five years.  We then determine which changes are opportunities to grow and which could be threats to success.  This assessment also includes identifying implications of changes and trends—the ways in which an organization might respond to the opportunities and threats.

2. Market Assessment:  SSI examines changes in the needs and perceptions of markets, market position and constituencies. For most organizations, these include clients or consumers, sponsors, donors, volunteers, staff, board members, collaborators and competitors.  

Market Assessment consists of the following determinations:  
*  Key markets and constituents
*  Needs, perceptions and service expectations of each market
*  Emerging market trends
*  Implications for an organization
*  Response to changes and trends in your market(s)

Also see Marketing services under Communications Consulting. 

3.  Needs Assessment: SSI assesses the internal structures, processes and operations of an organization, and identifies strengths and weaknesses.  Areas assessed include leadership, board governance, personnel (paid and volunteer), fundraising operations, physical facilities, resources (including financial and technology), programs, services and/or products.  

4. Issues Assessment
: SSI examines fundamental policy or program challenges that define significant obstacles and opportunities of an organization. SSI also identifies critical issues that reflect major shifts in thinking that can challenge the business as usual mentality.  

5. Mission Assessment.  A mission statement should suggest general purpose and illustrate, in the broadest sense, what an organization does, with and for whom, and why (your ultimate end), as well as distinct competence. SSI helps organizations clearly define their mission; or if one exists, revise their statement in light of changing or emerging goals and vision.  

6. Vision Assessment.  A vision statement suggests future direction and an organizational ideal—what it should be in the future.  SSI helps organizations determine what they want to accomplish and what they will need to change or achieve to bring about desired results.  _____________________________________________________________________

Five Cycles of Organization Life

SSI creates strategic plans for organizations consistent with their lifecycle

1. Start-up
* Management: founder-driven
* Staff: small and nonhierarchical; communication is informal
* Board: ED-selected, small, homogenous; emotionally tied to mission and intimately
   involved in operations  

2. Juvenile

*  Management: strategic division of labor begins
*  Staff: grows and broadens
*  Board: members add professional expertise; begin to focus on planning and

3.  Mature

*  Management: professional, hierarchical; increased authority/accountability
*  Staff: increase further in size and capacity
*  Board: increase in size, heterogeneity; focus on planning, oversight and
    fundraising; forms committees  

4. Stagnant
*  Management: focus is on specific programs, not broader organizational goals
*  Staff: fiefdoms, low morale and high turnover
*  Board: low turnover, sluggish, less involved  

5. Defunct