Strategy: to consult, inform or simply wing it?

Strategic planning Stakeholders Social impact Australia

Malcolm Garrow, Executive Director, Consulting at Social Ventures Australia explores the importance of being intentional about who to engage in the strategy development process, and offers guidance on how to do it well.

Most organisations revisit their strategies every three to five years (sometimes more frequently as a response to major change).

It is a critical activity that sets the organisation’s direction for the coming years and typically consumes significant resources.

However, while organisations are usually clear that they want a new strategy they are not strategic in thinking about how to develop the strategy and specifically how to engage with key stakeholders. This is important for two reasons:

  • Strategy quality – Considering how the best thinking and insights are included in the development of the strategy
  • Strategy implementation – Considering how key stakeholders who are critical to implementation and organisational success will react to the strategy.

This article provides a simple framework for considering whether to consult with or inform each stakeholder group (or neither) using both recent examples from SVA’s work as well as case studies from previous SVA Quarterly articles.

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