Strategy that works for the long term

Good strategy reflects your core purpose and re-energises your staff, enabling them to prioritise and say “No” with confidence.

But developing strategy is hard work. Totalpolicy will help you refresh your thinking, cut through organisational complexity and provide the external challenge needed to ensure your strategy works hard for you. 

Good strategy is (much, much) more than a document

It is easy when developing strategy to become fixated on the endpoint - the production of a slick document that magically provides you with new direction and focus. A good strategy process is an important opportunity for you to engage in a different way across all layers of your organisation, across your teams and regions, and with your beneficiaries, partners and allies. At the end of the process, how effectively you engage with these groups will be as important as what ends up in the final strategy document.

Engagement can take a number of forms. Use others to help build a picture of the world you operate in - their insight and intelligence will enrich your understanding enormously and give you a sense of what their hopes and fears are. Ensure that the hard conversations happen out loud too. Ensuring you reach a shared understanding of the challenges your organisation's face and the limits of what you can do are critical in helping others feel ownership of your organisation and the sometimes difficult choices you have to make.

Good strategy, new tools

To create an effective strategy you will need to look again at the tools you are using in your daily business. If you want to make sure your strategy turns into actions and decisions taken across your organisation every day,  you will need to look again at your objectives, planning and prioritisation processes. Determining a new language to describe your organisation and a common way of defining and measuring success will be critical too. And if you identify new partnerships and ways of doing business, you will need to invest time and resource in developing your organisation's capabilities.

Good strategy is hard work

Developing strategy can be hard work, and it can help to seek external support to undertake analysis, appraise options as well as manage the process itself. Most importantly having an external, fresh pair of eyes on the process can be helpful in asking the right questions, offering challenge, drawing inspiration from across other successful charities and reflecting back to you the strengths and unique qualities of your organisation that you may have become blind to. Find out more about Totalpolicy's work on strategy here.

Katherine Rake