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7 Tips for Strategic Planning

In a few weeks’ time, I’m facilitating a Strategic Plan review for a coaching client in the disability sector. With all the noise in this sector, I felt it might be helpful to share 7 key issues to consider here:

  1. Workforce shortages, health and wellbeing are not just operational issues. In fact, I’m pretty sure workforce is one of the most dire strategic issues facing the entire sector. (The new international governance standard IS037000 actually requires Boards to see employees as key stakeholders rather than simply operational inputs, so I’m not alone in thinking this.)

  2. How do you ensure that the voice of the customer will be heard on an ongoing basis at Board level? Boards need to hear, see and feel the customer experience first- hand (not just read about it).

  3. Same goes for your frontline support teams. How do you ensure that the voice of the frontline employee will be heard on an ongoing basis at Board level? Regardless of the size of your organisation, disability is a local business. The frontline IS the business.

  4. Succession planning needs to be addressed. What supports are in place to prevent burn-out, to identify emerging CEOs?

  5. Does your brand differentiate you from your competitors? How do you know? Do you have a unique value proposition?

  6. Many Strategic Plans attempt to drive more change through an outdated organisational structure. At some point, the Board has to question if the organisational structure is up to the challenge of delivering on their strategy in this operating environment.

  7. How diversified is your revenue and how reliant can you continue to be on the NDIS? Where is the low hanging fruit?

If your final Strategic Plan is more generic than strategic, it only places more pressure on your CEO. Strategic Plans are only “strategic” (such an over used word) if they reflect and

respond to the market. Going forward, I believe this will continue to be an extremely tough operating environment. With two in three supported independent living service providers operating at a loss in the last financial year, a pandemic, a 400% increase in appeals to the administrative tribunal, a Royal Commission, an additional 83,000 NDIS workers required by 2024 and an increasingly adversarial NDIA … it’s safe to say that it’s not just the NDIS that’s at a crossroads. The entire disability sector is at a crossroads and more robust Strategic Plans are required. Plans that not only focus on financial sustainability, but more importantly, deliver on the organisation’s mission and values. If your mission is to simply remain financially viable and operationally compliant - then you have already lost. #disability #mentalhealth #health #agedcare #governance #nonprofit #workplaceculture


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