Strategic Planning Update #11

Spotlight on Strategic Planning

Greetings from the Strategic Planning committee!

The Strategic Planning committee is beginning to move into a new and exciting phase of our process. As we gear up to attend the Board retreat in early October, we are concentrating on finishing off our information-gathering process so that we can bring as much data to the Board as possible. To that end, we have been busily finishing up our interviews and surveys of the remaining OTW committees and workgroups. We’re also taking the month of September to touch base with committees we surveyed more than six months ago. Being prepared for the Board retreat is our main priority at the moment, but we are also continuing to work on reports and hope to have fresh reports for OTW supporters to read soon after the retreat!

During the retreat, we will be working with the Board, as well as representatives from the Legal and Volunteers & Recruiting Committees, to develop an organization-wide strategic plan. We’ve noticed some questions from staff and volunteers about how this strategic plan will incorporate input from all corners of the organization, especially those not present at the retreat. A major part of our role as the Strategic Planning Committee is to consolidate the ideas, opinions, and suggestions we’ve gathered from all OTW staff and volunteers during our surveying and interviewing process into what will make up the key objectives of the final strategic plan. We also plan to incorporate the results of the OTW Community Survey, as a reflection of the larger OTW membership and userbase. To that end, in the upcoming weeks before the retreat, we especially welcome any additional thoughts.

Our role does not include coming up with recommendations that are not rooted in the responses that we have received. Our information-gathering process was specifically designed so that the questions would engage each committee or workgroup in thinking strategically about the future and what goals and priorities they would like to set for the next 3-5 years. Our purpose at the Board retreat is to communicate those goals and priorities to the Board and to fit them together into a larger organizational view. We also intend to present a concrete proposal to the Board to bring the strategic plan to the OTW for a period of internal comment and review and to incorporate feedback before final approval.

After the retreat, we plan to focus on completing all individual committee and workgroup reports, then move to writing up the details of the OTW strategic plan, based on the decisions made by Board at the retreat. The difference between the committee/workgroup reports and the OTW strategic plan is the former presented the background history, current challenges, and future goals of specific teams within the OTW, while the latter will present the collective goals — and suggestions for how to implement those goals — from an organization-wide perspective.

In August, we also launched our Non-Profit 101 series, holding chat sessions open to all OTW staff and volunteers intended to discuss and educate one another about non-profit organizations and best practices. We’ve had two sessions so far, “What is a Non-Profit” and “Boards and Bylaws”, and both were met with a gratifying amount of interest. We’re looking forward to holding more sessions in the coming months.