In a recent blog post, I asked the question “How do you manage strategy?” and went on to tell you about a great new resource available from the Society … a strategy management toolkit.  Creating value from knowledge: A resilience based strategy toolkit was authored by INCPAS knowledge management and complexity advisor David Griffiths, Ph.D. If you haven’t ordered it yet from iTunes or at least viewed the sample chapter, I encourage you to. It can help any firm or company develop and manage its strategy.

PaperworkSome of you may wonder, how does the Society manage its own strategy? Well, beginning today, the INCPAS Board of Directors embarked on a thorough review of the Society’s strategic plan. When that work is done late in the year, your professional home will have a more effective, streamlined and improved plan that is adaptive and emergent in order to best respond to the ever changing environment over the next several years. So how will we do it?

As we have done in past years when Board level task forces have studied professional issues and trends, the Board will be divided into three task forces. Last year’s work resulted in three white papers. This year, each task force is assigned to two or three of the eight objectives in the current strategic plan. All objectives will be carefully examined by discussing and answering several questions: What do we need or want to achieve? What do we expect? For who? Why? What is the goal or expectation? Finally, how do we define success? Through that process, the task forces will consider what needs to be amended, added or deleted, and provide recommendations.

Each task force will also take a broad view of the entire strategic plan. One consideration will be to discuss what’s missing from the current plan … this could be something related to any objective or something entirely new. And, each task force will also take thoughts or suggestions that may be related to other objectives they are not assigned, and put those in a “parking lot” for future discussion among all the task forces.

Through all discussion, the task forces will continuously refer back to several significant strategy documents. Those include the Society’s mission and vision statements, its value proposition, its core values, the public interest filters, the SWOT analysis, and the risk assessment and scenario plan.  Just as important, the task forces will consider professional trends and environment changes that may impact the Society the near future.

It’s a challenging task, but our task forces are up to it. I know, from working with the Vision Task Force two years ago, that sometimes the fewer the words, the harder it is. Our Vision Statement is six words, but it took six or seven meetings or conference calls and countless variations to come up with the final version. Even though the strategic plan themes and objectives may be just a handful of phrases and sentences, they are vitally important to the future direction of the Society and will require a thorough and thoughtful review.

In today’s cluttered and complex world, strategy has never been more important. But to be effective, that strategy must be based on clarity and simplicity, or risk being too confusing to achieve. That’s the goal as the process begins.