Steps To Achieve Higher Impact:A Common Sense Approach To Strategy

Steps To Achieve Higher Impact:A Common Sense Approach To Strategy

Strategy is no guarantee of impact. But without it, you are almost guaranteed to have no impact.

–Paul Brest, President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Steps Nonprofits Have to Consider for Effective Initiatives and Projects

  • Defining, documenting, and diagnosing the problem
    • Get the problem right! To have a better understanding of Haiti’s market, you must “define it clearly, quantify the scope, and specify its causes accurately and objectively.” By doing “good,” you will learn that Haiti is a special case that needs more nurturing as well as investment for real Research & Development (R&D) for sustainable impacts. “DATA GATHERING.” Documenting will come easy; however, I must warn you that the nonprofit sector in Haiti has a lot to catch up to.
  • Identify critical factors that prevent the problem from solving itself
    • Before one can formulate strategies to solving a problem, it is essential to identify the factors that prevent the problem from resolving itself; sometimes, it is the lack of knowledge or corrupt institutions which stand in the way of the solutions. One such example can be seen in this Facebook link“The Haitian Government did not want us to accomplish our mission.” Other examples to “We did not have enough funds,” or “We did not have enough manpower.” Such factors can include strong and powerful individuals who oppose the apparent solution, and such obstacles result in weak institutions. Identify KEY factors that will prevent you from accomplishing your mission; whether it is to alleviate malnutrition, provide school supplies, or sponsoring a child. There will be blocks that will prevent your mission from being accomplished. Start now. It is best to identify all obstacles so that you can create strategies to neutralize them.
  • Formulating a problem strategy
    • A systemic process is key to strategy. Strategy requires too many discrete steps, too many complicated methods; gathering and interpreting information, and evaluating outcomes. To identify promising approaches, have “we” identified the problem we want to solve? How right is the solution? Have “we” provided strategies? Are the strategies feasible? Did “we” involve the community in constructing a blueprint? How can we manage the risks? Can we afford what it will take to solve the problem; if not, can we attract adequate support like grants from foundations, donations, government contracts, etcetera? How long will it take for the problem to be solved? Is our organization prepared for the challenge? How will we know we are making impacts all along the way?
  • Selecting tactics/specific means to carry out
    • Strategy is the pattern of solving a problem. Tactic is the specific means employed in carrying out the strategy. With proper resources, personnel, funding, and a blueprint, you or anyone can solve the problem.

Reference:Joel Fleishman. The Foundation: A Great American Secret. How Private Wealth is Changing The World. 2009. Chapter 10.  


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