How To Attend The Best Meeting Ever

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Were there any important decisions made at the last dinner party you attended? Probably not. You never think about a dinner party as having an agenda or a stated purpose. The conversation just goes off in all sorts of directions, from politics, to sports, to the recipe for that fabulous banana chicken in a black […]

Establishing Ground Rules for a Meeting

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It has become customary to establish ground rules for conduct during a facilitated meeting.  I like to think of these as the contract between the facilitator and the group.  If I am the facilitator, you tell me how you’d like yourself and the other participants to behave, and I hold you all to that standard.  […]

Developing An Effective Process For Discussion

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To plan a good format for a meeting, facilitators need to be aware of the different ways that individuals process information and offer their input. For example, many extroverted people need to process their thoughts out loud while introverted people need to complete their thoughts internally before they speak them. If the whole meeting consists […]

Using a Parking Lot Effectively During a Meeting

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A parking lot is a list of issues that have been “parked” (set aside for later discussion) during a meeting, allowing the meeting leader or the facilitator to keep the meeting focused on its purpose when it might be missed because of a difficult side issue. Usually it is the meeting facilitator who asks the […]

Lesson Learned

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This post looks at five key lessons learned from working on strategic planning with many small to medium sized not for profits. 1. Do the upfront work on the external environment and your organization. This will ground the strategic plan. Without it, the plan is based the opinion of the people around the table, which […]

Action Plan

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This post discusses how to develop a workable action plan to implement strategic goals. Strictly speaking this is not strategic planning but it’s vital to ensure the time spent on the strategic plan isn’t wasted – the odds that it will be implemented without an action plan are small. The first thing you need is […]

Strategic Development, Part 2

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The last post described a process for brainstorming responses to the strategic analysis done during the situation review, the mission and vision revisit and the strategic positioning discussions. This post describes how to take that work and create strategies and goals. A strategy statement is a statement of strategic intent. For example, your program strategy […]

Strategic Development Part 1

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At this point in the strategic planning process you have looked at the internal and external situation, identified key trends that will impact your organization and your clients, confirmed your mission and vision and developed a consensus about how you want to be positioned in the future. The next step is to ask yourself – […]

Strategic Positioning

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By this point in the strategic planning process you’ve gathered information, examined the external and internal situation and confirmed your mission and vision. Now, it’s time to look at some broad strategy questions. Generally, it is a good idea to look at funding first, using the tool below to guide the discussion.   This can […]

Strategic Planning: Mission & Vision Revisit

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Most organizations have a mission statement, but many Board members and senior staff can’t articulate it well. Most paraphrase with some degree of accuracy.  The mission statement is critical – it should explain why you exist, and more importantly, it should be a touchstone for Board decision making. The mission revisit (which usually follows the […]

 

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