Library Articles

A Strategic Planning Model
Does your strategic planning process incorporate the components necessary for a comprehensive and valuable plan?  What are those pieces? The following article takes you through them. Is your strategic planning process complete with the necessary components? What are those pieces? An automobile requires a wide variety of components in order to function. For example, every automobile
Board Meeting Evaluation Form

The following form was created for governing board members to use at the conclusion of each board meeting in order to review and improve upon its meetings.  The chair should hand the evaluation out to board members at the conclusion of the meeting and collect it as Board Members are leaving.  Prior to the next

The Board’s Critical Role in CEO Succession Planning

One of the governing board’s critical responsibilities is to select the CEO for the organization. However, data from a Stanford research initiative reveals the following: Only 51% of boards can name the successor CEO 39% say they have zero internal candidates Only 2 hours per year on average is spent on succession planning About 50%

The Governing Board’s Use of a Consent Agenda

During board meetings, do you struggle to get through your agenda or do your meetings go on too long? Do you find that you spend most of your meeting time reviewing what has already occurred versus influencing future events? Do you duplicate the work of your committees at the full board level? Do directors fail to

Three Indicators of High Functioning Teams

In the following article, consultant John Gregoire takes us through the common characteristics he identified in his work developing high functioning teams. Delivering my “Communication” team development series over the years has identified common themes on high functioning teams. The following are some of the most important common characteristics of high functioning teams. High functioning teams

Project Plan Communication

Completing a large-scale project on time and on budget is a challenge. It requires that staff from a variety of departments who have a wide range of talents, responsibilities and perspectives work in sync with each other, despite the demands of their work outside the project.  It is no wonder that one of the biggest

Understanding and Creating a Clear Purpose Statement

Those of you with whom we have worked know the importance we place on a clear sense of purpose. What is a purpose statement? It is the part of the Core Ideology that defines the organization, what it stands for and what you are trying to make happen.  Clarity on these elements are vital to

Levels of Flowcharting

We have taught flowcharting to clients for 25+ years for use in clearly describing their processes. What are flowcharts? Flowcharts are simply diagrams that show the steps in a process. They are invaluable for training new hires, documenting complicated systems, and improving/redesigning processes. One key to helping you create and then get real value in

Customer Service Through a New Lens

What is customer service? How do you know if the customer service you are providing is “good”? And who exactly is your customer? On the surface these seem to be simple questions, with equally simple answers. Customer service is how I serve the customer, and it is good when the customer is happy. My customer

Capturing More Value From Your Strategic Plan

A plan is not just a to-do list We often judge a strategic plan successful when the work laid out in the plan is accomplished and the organization moves closer to achieving its vision. However, a strategic plan has the potential to be much more than the C-suite to-do list for high-level projects over the

Strategic Planning Tools

I think getting the plan formalized on paper helped us to actualize and make our thinking more concrete. We could look at it and say, this goes back to this on our plan.” Anne Biberman, Fairbanks Concert Association Good strategic plans use good tools What tools do you need to build a solid strategic plan?

Components of an Effective Strategic Planning System

A sense of direction Providing an overall sense of direction for the corporation is the most important responsibility of top leadership. Followers look to leaders for a strategy that assures future viability/prosperity. Unless that direction is clear, the staff resources of the corporation may wander away from the high priority needs of the marketplace or

An Easy to Use Strategic Planning Template

What does a strategic planning template look like?  Can a template be used as a management tool? We look at these questions below. A strategic planning template that is actually used How many times have you seen a strategic plan binder handed to an organization, and then watched it collect dust on the shelf as

Choosing Key Organizational Metrics

Knowing your organization’s condition What is the true condition of your organization today? Is it moving toward the vision?  Are the strategic projects effective? Will the organization be solvent and healthy one year from today?  What are the critical processes, and are they healthy?  A good set of performance management metrics, an Instrument Panel, answers

The Importance of an Internal Assessment

“Regularly scheduled maintenance” for an organization An internal assessment is an often forgotten, but in our experience, essential part of an organization’s strategic plan (see where it fits in the planning process in our article titled The Components of an Effective Strategic Planning System). A strategic plan is the key tool for growing an organization

14 Keys to Successfully Implementing Change

A sound change management model Today’s business environment is unprecedented, in terms of the richness of its opportunities – and the scope of its challenges. The need to be nimble, to be able to make quick and effective changes in organizations is vital in order to remain both relevant and competitive. But, the troubling statistics

Change Management Tools

Change management or process improvement is the means used to evaluate current processes, assess needed improvements and implement sound solutions. Good change management tools assure that the whole effort goes smoothly. Inherent in change management is that word that many dread, “change”. Although change is inevitable, it is often not welcome. For effective change management,

Change Management Theories

There are five business theories that, when combined, produce a powerful process improvement effort: What are these “theories”, and what are the pitfalls of not including one in your own change initiatives? Let’s take each of them one at a time. Continuous Quality Improvement: CQI is the largely based on the work of W. Edwards

Project Management Tools and Methodology

Tools and methodology walk hand in hand The tools and methodology behind sound project management require a bit of a “chicken and egg” discussion. There is a distinct methodology used in creating an exceptional tool to manage your project. Then, once that tool is in place, you use a specific methodology to manage the working

Five Essential Project Management Skills

There are essential skills in good project management, just as there are essential tools (to read about project management tools, click here). What exactly are the project management skills essential to delivering a large-scale project on-time and on-budget? How do you put each skill in place? We have answered that question below for each of

A Project Management Chart

“How to organize such a large event? Where to start and rely on the team I work with? It was interesting how the group contained all the knowledge, yet had no way to assemble it before this session.” – Project team participant, Fairbanks Courthouse Move, State of Alaska Court System A project management chart organizes

Micromanagement and How To Correct It

Micromanagement is best defined as a pattern of over-involvement in operational details. It means needlessly slowing down the pace of progress, growth or improvement without adding any value. That is, the added oversight or approval step consistently fails to result in 1) avoidance of a mistake, 2) an improved strategy or action plan, 3) better

Governing Board Agenda Sample

Use the following sample as a template for designing your board meetings. Several key elements: Outline the timing for each agenda item. If an agenda item is taking more time that allotted, ask the group if they wish to extend the meeting or table it, noting what needs to be handled before the next meeting