Strategic Planning

What does success look like?

An organizational strategy turns vision and intent into action and results. It is the tool you rely on to inform resource allocation decisions – the tactics that operationalize all else.  There are several key components of an organizational strategy, but it starts with the question, “What does success look like?”

Process Design and Management 

You are not cookie cutter, and we don’t comport ourselves by formula. We can design a strategy development process that works for your particular culture and timing. We have facilitated this process in three hours with decisive leaders of small organizations and we’ve done it over a period of multiple months with other organizations grappling with a range of internal dynamics and external complexities. We take responsibility for creating and ensuring that deadlines are met, that work is coordinated, and that the process is rigorous, transparent, and inclusive. While we will identify and offer recommendations, the decisions are ultimately yours.

Vision statement and values

Strategic planning is emotionally and intellectually rigorous. It requires participants to confront questions at the core of who the organization is and what it does functionally, and it challenges us to translate that into a clear, concise, and powerful vision of the future. In our capacity as strategists and process architects, our primary role is to design a process that allows people to be heard, engage in a productive conversation, and come to a resolution on the organizational vision and values.  

Environmental Scan and Landscape Analysis 

A key component of our strategic planning process is an “environmental scan,” which consists of qualitative interviews (conducted in-person or by phone) with key internal and external stakeholders (including funders, strategic partners, competitors, and allies). We work with you to develop the cohort of interviewees, design the protocols for our interviewing process, and finalize our interview question set.

In addition to helping us identify areas of consensus and dissensus and organizational strengths and weaknesses, these interviews help us better understand, explore, and ultimately manage the gap between what key internal stakeholders believe your brand to be, and how others perceive and interpret your brand.

Strategic Planning Sessions

Raben is expert at the deft touch it requires to effectively facilitate strategic planning sessions with executive staff, board leadership, funders, and/or members. We can work with large and small groups, thoughtfully planning and structuring sessions in ways that will productively surface underlying issues and advance participants toward resolution.