Mike Stone, of Impact Strategies with a plethora of experience in strategy work, has identified two key elements that make your strategy sound. The first is organizational core and the second is strategy driver.
Organizational core is defined by Mike as “your strongest competencies aimed at the highest priority needs of your targeted population, within your defined domain.” He uses the example about a nonprofit who’s mission it is to reduce recidivism of ex-offenders by giving them the tools necessary to gain and retain employment. So, their strongest competency would be educating, priority needs are the skills for gaining and retaining employment, and the domain would be the criminal justice system of the area.
The second piece, strategy driver, is the “nature of your business and consequently provides the lens through which program decisions and resource allocations are considered.” Now the ‘drivers’ can be three different options: client-driven (based on target population), service-driven (the nonprofit’s content expertise), or domain-driven (the nonprofit responding to the changing needs/preferences within their identified domain).
In utilizing Mike’s method of organizational core and strategy driver, your conversations about strategic development will be more focused and consistent.