Video lecture notes - Strategic Planning - weeks three, four, and five, Fall 2017

A component of the Strategic Planning class is pre-recorded video lectures which are assigned to watch prior to some classes. I’ve been taking notes as I watch these, but haven’t quite been sure if or where to fit them in the blog. I might start incorporating them in with the reading notes or class notes posts going forward, but for now am going to catch them up by summarizing the first three weeks here.

A technical note, most of the videos are posted as MP4 files which enables me to download and then view them using VLC player. I started doing that because VLC enables me to adjust the playback speed to get through them more quickly. What I discovered while doing this is that VLC has hotkey mappings which enable keyboard shortcuts for a number of commands, including faster and slower, and skipping 10 seconds back or forward. So I’m starting to get in a groove with being able to watch a video at a higher speed, but when I hear something important that I want to note then I can quickly hit the keys to jump back and slow it down. Speed adjustments are also a feature of YouTube videos and can be enabled for Vimeo via this Chrome extension. As far as I can tell, videos posted via Kaltura (such as the Week 1 intro video for this class) cannot be sped up.

Week three VODcast

  • Think about the design or process with some sense of what the end is you have in mind, but design the process in such a way to be able to figure out during the process what you want the end to be
  • The process essentially sets up a series of requirements
  • Think strategically about strategic planning
  • Initial agreements - typically several. First one often between a key sponsor and champion. Additional agreements formulated as more stakeholders get involved.
  • Essentially a work program where the purposes are clear.
  • The key to success for public and nonprofit organizations is the satisfaction of key stakeholders as they define it.
  • Deliberative argumentation - strategic planning process essentially a design for engaging others in active deliberation

Week four VODcast - Purpose, mandates, mission, and vision

  • Purpose expansion technique or purpose network technique
  • Meant to help people get clearer about their purposes
  • Mandates can be formal or informal
  • The challenge is that most people in organizations don’t understand the mandates. If you’re not clear about what you’re supposed to do you won’t do it.
  • Mission statement is a recorded declaration of purpose
  • Vision is a description of what success would look like for the organization
  • This vision sketch is a crude but important way of helping people think about strategy formulation
  • Mission, mandates, and vision are all about purpose
  • Purposes come in hierarchies
  • Always keep asking yourself, “what is our purpose here?”
  • The important message here is to always let purpose be your guide, don’t assume that you wholly understand your purpose until engaging with others. Think about the array of purposes which might be served, how they fit together, and choose your real purpose. May lead to developing a mission statement.

Week five VODcast - Visioning and the role it plays in the strategic planning process

  • We get lost in the details, in the day-to-day business, lose sight of the real broad long-range purposes we’re trying to serve
  • Need of a vision to keep track of where we’re going
  • You have to have a picture in your mind of what success looks like - an operating vision of success
  • Visions can come at different scales
  • Vision sketch - very brief description formed early in a planning process
  • Vision of success - much more detailed, later in the process
  • When might a vision sketch be useful?
    1. Org having identifying what the issues are
    2. Not possible to agree on specific, detailed goals
    3. Drastic change is necessary
  • In trying to inspire people to do well and pursue a common vision, it’s important to think about what actually does inspire other people.
    • Clear enforceable vision delivered with heartfelt conviction
    • Focus on a better future
    • Encourages hopes and dreams
    • States outcomes in a positive way
    • Often very pictorial - paints a picture
    • Enthusiasm and excitement
  • If you don’t really believe in a vision - don’t do it. Going to backfire, come off as cynical, manipulative. Vision has to be authentic.
  • Frederico Fellini quote, “the visionary is the only realist” – the vision is in effect what the world can be and ought to be, and the visionary gets to say what the world isn’t yet but should be
Written on October 3, 2017