Strategic plans are only reached when there are annual goals. These are the 5-10 things you want to your organization to accomplish over the next twelve months that relate to those 3-5 year strategic initiatives. If you have a number closer to ten, some should be “one and done” types that are the low-hanging fruit, while others will require multiple steps over the entire year, thus being more work. These goals should be owned by senior management, by the board, and ultimately by your staff.
If they are owned by the board, your members need to be asking three questions throughout the year. Where are we going again? How are we doing? How can we help? After all, this is part of the way the board will evaluate yours and their performance as leaders.
I’m surprised by how many organizations don’t have annual goals. I’m also surprised when management does have goals, but have not garnered the board’s engagement and ultimate support for them.
One reminder about goals is that they should be SMART:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – relevant
If you don’t have an annual plan, it’s a good time to look at the year ahead. Where are you going? What do you want to accomplish. Then create a set of annual goals. Get your board’s input. Own them together. And get moving. You will be surprised about how powerful annual goals really are.
For more information be sure to check out my book Board Essentials: 12 Best Practices of Nonprofit Boards