An Overview of the Strategy Process
Within Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, Inc.
by Pam Hyland, CEO
We have all heard the adage that “the only constant is change,” and that has never been truer than today, and all the tomorrows that follow. For that reason, the extensive long-term strategic plans of the past where plans are established for five plus years are no longer effective. Girl Scouts has replaced that outdated process with one called “Strategic Learning.” It’s a learning process because as an organization has new insights, these insights must inform future strategy.
The three big questions that strategic learning must answer are:
- Where do we want to compete?
- What do we want to achieve?
- How will we win?
Winning in business is winning the competition for value creation — it results in a company’s competitive advantage.
In a not-for-profit the value creation is about the benefits accrued to the customer — in our case, the girls who become Girl Scouts.
In Girl Scouting, girls benefit by becoming young women of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. One of our board members suggested that communities benefit as much from Girl Scouting as the girls themselves because of the many ways that girls ultimately use the leadership skills they gain in Girl Scouting to improve their communities. We have countless examples of how girls have taken action in their communities, and every strategy must ultimately support a girl’s ability to lead within the communities that ultimately benefit from her leadership.
Strategic thinking enables an organization to take a 360-degree view of itself to determine its “winning proposition,” identify the “brutal truths” if you will of its current ability to achieve the benefit it seeks to have in the lives of its customers, and then envision its “future state” around the top priorities that will ultimately best position the organization to achieve the benefits promised to customers in its winning proposition.
The council has gone through two strategic learning processes. During our first strategy sessions in 2009, we determined our five priorities at the time to be culture, membership, technology, communication and finance. We've completed many of the goals set out in that first process.
In 2013, volunteers and staff went through another strategic group process to look at were we are in today's GSNPENN and refocus our priorities. We have developed an action plan to focus on:
For details on the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways strategies, click on the link below.