The heart of every business venture or social organization is its strategy. Everything rises and falls on strategy, and that is why strategic planning is at the centre of our approach to developing a turnaround process for an existing organization or kick-starting a new one. Simply put, without a clear business model or theory of change, a venture’s operations will be largely speculative and hopeful – a strategy helps to embed those actions in a clearly defined process that outlines expected outcomes from the outset. With the benefit of a strategic plan, an organization can proceed to develop a corporate governance architecture, develop products or programs, engage with stakeholders and measure for impact.
Strategic planning defines where an organization is, where it is trying to go and how to go there, all in the context of its mission and values, as well as its operating environment. The strategic planning process is really critical for any organization or venture that seeks to thrive – starting with developing a compelling mission statement, a set of operating principles or values, and some clear choices about steps to take and those to avoid. When done properly, a theory of change emerges in the non-profit world, and a business model canvas emerges for businesses, often leading to a five-year strategic plan and yearly operational plans.
Leadership and Governance
Most ventures start out as a one-person operation and in some cases a partnership, but a thriving enterprise will require a great team. The leadership and governance structure proposed by FrameWork will encompass an executive team, a governing board, a set of interns or volunteers who might serve as programme staff, and an advisory council. Alongside these personnel changes, there is also a legal and regulatory framework with which organizations need to comply, encompassing business registration, tax registration and more. For ventures that require external funding, complying with this regulatory environment is non-negotiable.
In a rapidly moving world of competing priorities, a high performing venture needs to manage its stakeholders diligently and consistently. Stakeholders range from clients to advisors, funders, internal teams and prospective clients. An integrated marketing communications strategy encompasses branding building, visual media, website, social media, printed materials (like annual reports and brochures), newsletters and periodic meetings/calls with important stakeholder groups. With these in place, not neglecting critical one-to-one conversations, an organization is guaranteed to stay top of mind for its most valued audiences