Insights from Starboard: Strategic Planning

We are happy to share what we learn, and we do this as workshop instructors, by developing curriculum for the Maine Association of Nonprofits and individual clients, and by offering advice on our Starboard blog. Take a look. You just might find the guidance you need!

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What’s a mission statement? What’s a vision statement?

Over the years, we’ve seen well-intentioned people cause strategic planning sessions to grind to a halt as they try to bend the group to their personal definitions of “mission” and “vision.” Somehow the words and concepts have become jumbled, and the result is that way too much time is wasted on terminology rather than on …
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Creating a Plan for Success

Why do some businesses thrive during challenging economic times while others fail? “In our business we plan to succeed.” That’s how Denis St. Peter, President of CES, describes his firm’s approach to strategic planning. It is that commitment to planning that positioned CES, an engineering firm headquartered in Brewer, Maine to expand its business to …
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Making the Most of Your Planning Retreat

For some, the word “retreat” is a dirty word. It too often means a day (or more) spent in a windowless room engaged in conversations and discussions that rarely seem to do much to advance the organization. Even the word “retreat” suggests going backward instead of forward. Should it surprise us then that nonprofit board …
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Think you’re ready for strategic planning? Start with this exercise.

For most organizations, strategic planning is a major undertaking requiring a significant investment of time and resources. Before you make that investment, take time to explore what board, staff, and other key stakeholders want from your planning process. Don’t assume that everyone has the same expectations for the planning process and the final product. Failing …
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