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Messaging on a Mission

Change! That’s something with which we’re all intimately familiar these days. Sometimes change is something that is forced upon us and sometimes it’s something that we drive. When working through a strategic planning process it’s important to remember that communication to all stakeholders is critical. Organizational effectiveness consultant Carol Hamilton walks us through how and why.

Key Takeaways
  • Be clear about how input is going to be used, what’s going to happen with all the information that is shared, and then remember that at the end of the process, to actually circle back and synthesize all the input that the organization has received.
  • Involving people all the way through the process gives them a sense of agency that mitigates them feeling as if change is being done to them.
  • It’s a good idea to not only go through the process to identify the priorities, but also identifying a process for looking at those later, checking in with them, refreshing them.
  • Strategic plans should have the flexibility to accommodate unforeseen changes.
  • Have a set of criteria ready for situations the strategic plan could not have anticipated. For example, the La Piana Consult’s Strategy Screen makes explicit the criteria that your organization will use to choose a particular strategy or course of action.
  • Continually communicate to people where you are in the process.
  • Three-five years is the best range for a strategic plan.
Episode Guest

Carol Hamilton is an organization effectiveness consultant who helps nonprofits become more strategic and innovative for greater mission impact. She facilitates strategic planning, (online and in-person), helps organizations prepare for executive transitions, and provides training.

A strategic thinker, Carol works with teams and organizations to envision and frame their future strategic direction. Practical in her approach, she helps organizations think through who is key to creating their future, how to gather insights from these stakeholders, consider the big picture, imagine new possibilities, come to an agreement on their future goals, and create an initial action plan to get started. She takes a human-centered and appreciative approach in her work. Carol has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and association sectors working with organizations with a range of missions.

Carol trains frequently on leadership, strategy, and innovation topics and is the host of the “Mission:Impact” podcast. She graduated from Swarthmore College and has her Masters in Organization Development from American University. She is a nonprofit Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant and trained with BoardSource. She is also part of a consultant collective focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, All In Consulting.

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