:: OGSP for Non-Profits

The Challenge – Choice Making 

Non-profit employees frequently work for below market wages, due to their passion for the organization’s mission.  Saying “no” to any project that might help their target clients is difficult.  Collins points out that successful non-profit leaders can’t easily use concentrated “executive” decision making to force strategic choices and focus.  Rather “there is the power of inclusion, the power of language, the power of shared interests, and the power of coalition.”

The OGSP Solution 

The One Page Strategic Plan provides a simple and highly focused way to build “shared interests” across the primary functions of the organization.  The absence of “jargon” or excessive process helps to enroll skeptical leaders in real planning.  The OGSP development process provides the leader with a less threatening way to build a lasting coalition and candid dialogue among their leadership team members.  The OGSP document has also proven to be quite useful in enrolling non-profit boards in the outcome, both during and at the completion of the strategic planning process.

The Challenge – Measurement 

Non-profits frequently cannot afford the sophisticated data collection and analysis systems needed to create robust outcome measures.  There is a tendency to embrace activity (we’re really busy) than end results tied directly to the mission, which are hard to define and track.  Collins notes: “It doesn’t really matter whether you can quantify your results.  What matters is that you rigorously assemble evidence-quantitative or qualitative-to track your progress.”

The OGSP Solution

The OGSP format requires the participants to identify a tight list of areas to be evaluated that are important across the entire organization, not just for a specific function.  This further builds a “shared purpose” and emphasizes the importance of measuring mission results, not just work activity.  The OGSP facilitator use their experience to help organizations assemble both quantitative and qualitative “evidence” to track progress versus the OGSP Objective.  We frequently use a favorite example cited by Collins: To determine if the Cleveland Orchestra was getting “great results,” they asked “are we getting more standing ovations?”