Creating a strategic plan through a shared planning process

In the face of the expected dramatic growth in dementia and threats to its funding, Alzheimers Australia NSW (AlzNSW) needed to create a strategic plan to provide direction for the next five years. SVA Consulting worked with the $10 million non-profit to create the planning process which achieved high levels of buy-in from AlzNSW’s 100 staff.

With a background in politics, AlzNSW CEO, The Hon John Watkins believed that the most effective way to get good change is to engage people. He also wanted the process to reflect the organisation’s values by being collaborative, open and more democratic.

“In my role as CEO, I saw that my job was to find out what the board and staff wanted and to give life to those views…”

“The fact pack built legitimacy of the process. It gave us confidence and certainly impressed the board. It was clear that SVA understood us.”

The Hon John Watkins, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO

Approaching the process with no fixed hypothesis about the organisation’s path allowed the facts and the insights of staff and other stakeholders to guide the planning outcome.

SVA Consulting worked with AlzNSW to design the process so that, at each step, staff were consulted and involved in a way that led to engagement and ownership rather than a vague direction.

This approach created high levels of staff buy-in and commitment to the plan. For the senior management team, who developed the plan, the process also helped to build relationships and knowledge about each other’s areas and how each other worked.

By planning without a starting hypothesis, the organisation came up with both a focused direction and a team of people aligned behind it.

Download the Alzheimers Australia NSW case study (PDF, 418KB)

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