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Belinda Li shares an older, but always relevant post that identities three important things strategic planning should accomplish in addition to the plan. 

‘It’s time for strategic planning again.’

If you’re anything like the Board members at a nonprofit where I serve as an officer, you can probably relate to the collective sighs this announcement elicited. I found this reaction amusing…and a little troubling. Because I do value-added strategic planning for my clients, I know it isn’t just a necessary evil. Strategic planning is truly one of the most exciting and valuable opportunities you and your organization can undertake.

That’s because it’s never just about producing a plan. At CiTTA Partnership, we often tell clients, the steps you take along that journey are just as important. Let’s talk process.

Step One: Creating Internal Alignment and Cultural Shifts

At its core, your strategy is about how to best apply your limited resources to the most effective and impactful priorities. You’ve got difficult decisions to make to drive your organization – and in this process, your vision, mission, and values will be revisited, clarified, and refined. It’s the perfect opportunity to get all your key stakeholders on the same page.

We facilitate a highly inclusive and participatory process that ensures all voices are heard (not just the loudest ones!). It’s a rare opportunity for Board members, leadership, and staff to work together in the same room, using hands-on exercises, facilitated conversations, large-group and small-group discussions. To be sure, there are often differing perspectives between Board members and leadership or staff members. It is an intense process by design. But the tools we use lead to enhanced mutual respect and active listening. By creating a safe and open space first, you’ll find your team is able to put aside personal agendas to discover and celebrate a common vision. 

Not only do you bring stakeholders together this way, but you also allow them to co-create a collaborative work culture that will serve successful strategy implementation for years to come. And that relates directly to…

 

Key points include:

  • Creating Internal Alignment and Cultural Shifts
  • Relationship-building with External Stakeholders – Including Critiques!
  • Helping Your Organization Value Data-Informed Decisions

 

Read the full post, 3 Things Strategic Planning Should Accomplish (Besides the Plan), on LinkedIn.

 

Belinda Li shares an article that summarizes the key findings from this year’s Social Enterprise World Forum and provides links to more information on each social enterprise solution.

This past September, CiTTA Partnership was thrilled to engage in Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) Digital, the world’s first virtual global social enterprise conference. The event had 94 live sessions and masterclasses, attended by over 5,000 participants from over 50 countries spanning all time zones of the globe. The 200 speakers highlighted timely topics within the social enterprise sphere including innovation in job creation, navigating the impact of COVID-19, alternative funding models, youth-led social enterprises, and social enterprises as influencers. There were many notable moments of wisdom during the five-day event. Policy and Research Director, Kate Bailey of Eco-Cycle in Colorado, invited participants to reflect on how to recognize ecosystem gaps and opportunities to tackle waste and challenged leaders to use the social enterprise model to create employment opportunities, educate the public on how to slow down consumption and be more conscious about how we consume, and live more sustainably.

In the panel “Creating a Social Value Marketplace,” Arielle Johnson from Fierce Staffing in Detroit remarked that social enterprises can be more inclusive by offering equity to their employees to create intentionality and a pathway for upward mobility. Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Digital Minister, shared innovative insights on how we can use humor to combat misinformation about COVID-19 and that inclusiveness is about seeing everyone’s opinion with equal importance.

 

Key topics highlighted include:

  • Ecosystem gaps and opportunities
  • Inclusivity and inequality 
  • Helping prisoners return to the workforce

 

Read the full article, Elevating Society Through Conscious Business: Our Global Discussion on the Impact of Social Enterprises at SEWF Digital 2020, on LinkedIn. 

 

 

Belinda Li shares an article that explores the meaning of ‘social’ in social enterprise.

When I tell people our consulting firm has a passion for helping social enterprises, I’m sometimes met with the question, ‘what do you mean by social enterprise?’

Or I might get a knowing look, yet the response is, ‘oh, so you do social media!’ or ‘oh, so it’s about social networking!’ Hmm…

I suppose that’s not totally unexpected. After all, not many people know about ‘social enterprise.’ And today, the word ‘social’ is frequently associated with ‘social media / social networking.’ At a recent event hosted by a social media firm, they said things like: ‘today we are all things social’ or ‘everything is social now!’ When substituting ‘social’ for ‘social media,’ everyone understood what they meant. The confusion is further exacerbated by articles such as this one. You’ll see it has ‘creating a social enterprise’ in its title… and yet the article is all about social media!”

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • What a social enterprise is
  • How social enterprises differ from most businesses
  • Examples of social enterprise

 

Read the full article, When “Social” Means More, on LinkedIn.