Answer & Explanation:Study Guide/Lecture for Unit 5 Strategic Planning
The topic for Unit 5 is:
Strategy Formulation and Adoption
Objectives for Unit 5 is:
2. Justify the impact of eliminating strategic planning
within public and nonprofit agencies regarding service delivery capabilities.
Chapter 7
Need 1500 words lecture/study on the material, it must have
the following below.

Provide a written unit
lesson below using your knowledge and experience to amplify and expand
upon the information presented in the reading assignments.
Consider inserting
examples and anecdotes that apply to the concepts to keep the students’
interest. How can you make the material valuable?
The lesson should be
10-pt. Arial, single-spaced, and at least two pages in length, 1500 words.

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CHAPTER SEVEN Formulating and Adopting Strategies and Plans to Manage the Issues
If you play with the fibers, they suggest possibilities.
—Annie Albers, weaver
This chapter will cover Steps 6 and 7, formulating and adopting strategies and plans. Even though the
two steps are likely to be closely linked in practice, they should be kept separate in the planning team
members’ minds. Both concern creating ideas for strategic action and building a winning coalition (see
Figure 2.4), but the dynamics that surround each step may be dramatically different, especially when
strategies must be adopted by elected or appointed policy boards. Strategy formulation often involves
freewheeling creativity and the give-and-take of dialogue and deliberation, while formal adoption of
strategies and strategic plans can involve political intrigue, tough bargaining, public posturing, and high
drama. Strategies should be formulated that can be adopted in politically acceptable, technically and
administratively workable, results-oriented, and legally, ethically and morally defensible form.
Strategy may be thought of as a pattern of purposes, policies, programs, projects, actions, decisions, or
resource allocations that defines what an organization (or other entity) is, what it does, and why it does
it. Strategy therefore is the extension of an organization’s mission, forming a purpose-driven (and
sometimes purpose-revealing) bridge between the organization and its environment. Strategies typically
are developed to deal with strategic issues; that is, they outline the organization’s response to the
fundamental challenges it faces. To follow the bridge metaphor, strategic issues show where bridges are
needed, and strategies are the bridges. (If the goal approach to strategic issues is taken, strategies will
be developed to achieve the goals; or, if the vision of success approach is taken, strategies will be
developed to achieve the vision.)
This definition of strategy is purposely very broad. It is important to recognize patterns that transcend
and, ideally, integrate and align organizational policies, decisions, resource allocations, and actions large
and small. General strategies will fail if specific steps to implement them are absent. Further, strategies
are prone to fail if there is no alignment or consistency between what an organization says, what it pays
for, and what it actually does. The definition of strategy offered here—an arrangement to achieve the
mission, meet the mandates, and create public value—calls attention to the importance of this
Good strategies involve creating effective linkages with the organization’s environment, even if the
purpose is to change the context. As noted in Chapter Five, the word context comes from the Latin to
weave together. The arrows in the strategic planning process outlined in Figure 2.1 may be thought of as
the threads of communication concerning ideas about the organization’s context and what might be
done to respond usefully to it (Forester, 1999; Healey, 2006; Innes & Booher, 2010). The possibilities for
creating good patterns are suggested if you play with these threads or fibers, as weaver Annie Albers
proposes. The art of creating an effective response is also highlighted—as it should be, since in my
experience decision makers and strategic planning team members often are not creative enough in
addressing strategic issues and crafting strategies (see also Mintzberg, 1987; Mulgan, 2009).
The art, however, is typically not without anguish. As psychotherapist-theologian Thomas Moore
observes: “Creative work can be exciting, inspiring, and godlike, but it is also quotidian, humdrum, and
full of anxieties, frustrations, dead ends, mistakes, and failures” (1992, p. 199). Rosabeth Moss Kanter
goes further and asserts that every innovation is a failure in the middle of the change process
introducing it (Kanter, 1983, 1989). Innovations are failures in the middle because they must be. By
definition, they have never been tried before (at least by the organization), and success can only be
determined after they are implemented. Thus strategy is intentionally defined in a way broad enough to
help ensure that although strategic changes (a kind of innovation) may be failures initially, they are
successes in the end.
Also, according to my definition, every organization (or collaboration or community) already has a
strategy (or strategies). That is, for every organization there is already some sort of pattern—or logic in
action (Poister, 2003; McLaughlin & Jordan, 2010)—across its purposes, policies, programs, actions,
decisions, or resource allocations. The pattern is there—although it may not be a very good one. It may
need to be refined or sharpened or (less frequently) changed altogether for it to be an effective bridge
between the organization and its environment. The task of strategy formulation typically involves
highlighting what is good about the existing pattern; reframing, downplaying, or pruning away what is
bad about it; and adding whatever new elements are needed to complete the picture (Nutt, Backoff, &
Hogan, 2000; Mulgan, 2009). Culture becomes very important in strategy formulation, as whatever
patterns exist are typically manifestations of the organization’s culture or cultures. Culture provides
much of the glue that holds inputs, processes, and outputs together. The culture affects how strategic
issues are framed and placed on the agenda in the first place, and subsequently affects which strategy
options are given serious consideration (Khademian, 2002; Schein, 2010). Issues of organizational
identity are similarly wrapped up in existing strategies and affect how issues are framed, get on the
agenda, and are addressed (Dutton & Dukerich, 1991; Rughase, 2007).
Put differently, every strategy is thus almost always both emergent and deliberate, although the balance
can vary a good deal (Mintzberg, Ahlstrand, & Lampel, 2009). The world of sports provides two useful
examples of this emergent and deliberate quality. Jean-Claude Killy of France, triple gold medal winner
in alpine skiing at the 1968 Winter Olympics, was asked why he drank wine for lunch. His reply: “What
would you have me do—drink milk and ski like an American?” His unorthodox (some said wild) style of
skiing revolutionized alpine ski racing. His style capitalized on his physique and psyche and, he said, was
the only way he knew how to ski. In this sense his strategy was at first emergent and then became
deliberate. It also became deliberate for many other racers who tried to imitate him. The other example
comes from Francis “Fran” Tarkenton, former quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings and New York
Giants, member of the National Football League Hall of Fame, and still holder of several NFL records.
Tarkenton was known as a scrambling quarterback; he drove defenses crazy when he would run around
in the open field, buying time until he could run or pass for a big gain. In describing his strategy as it
moved from deliberate to emergent, he said, “Whenever things break down completely, I don’t hesitate
to roam out of the pocket and do the boogaloo.”
Borins (1998), in a major study of 217 public sector innovations, explored when innovations were more
deliberate or emergent. He found that politicians tended to be the initiators of innovations in times of
crisis; agency heads were the initiators when they took over the reins or were overseeing an
organizational change effort; and middle-level and frontline public servants were the initiators in
response to internal problems or technological opportunities (pp. 48–49). But the extent to which these
initiators’ strategies involved deliberate comprehensive planning or emergent groping along (Behn,
1988) varied considerably. Formal planning was more likely when the changes involved responding to
political mandates, large capital investments, coordination of a large number of organizations, or making
a well-developed theory operational. Groping (or trying lots of things and learning by doing) was more
likely in the absence of large capital investments, when it was not necessary to coordinate several
organizations, when there was no well-articulated theory, and no political impetus. Overall, in Borins’s
sample, planning was more frequent than groping (Borins, 1998, pp. 64–65). A study by Nutt and Hogan
(2008) of the downsizing of the Ohio Department of Mental Health through closures and mergers of its
mental hospitals supports these findings. The authors found that better results were produced by
emphasizing the importance of careful planning—including the use of strategic waiting to slow the
process down enough so that people could get used to the new reality and work out a way forward
(perhaps using some groping)—than were produced by more rushed processes. In other words, speed
led to an overemphasis on groping, which resulted in disarray and confusion and did not produce good
results; a more deliberate and deliberative approach resulted in better outcomes.
Recall also that most organizations’ strategies remain fairly stable for long periods of time, and then may
change abruptly. Thus, most of the time strategic planning will focus on adapting and programming
strategies whose outlines are already reasonably clear (Mintzberg, Ahlstrand, & Lampel, 2009). At other
times, though, strategic planning will be called upon to assist with the formulation of new strategies to
deal with quite new and different circumstances. Even in times of rather drastic change, however, an
organization is unlikely to discontinue all of its existing strategies, so the task of blending the old with
the new and the deliberate with the emergent still remains (Benner & Tushman, 2003). In effect,
organizations are always called upon to develop three agendas: what they will keep and improve, what
they will initiate that is new, and what they will stop. Of the three, the stop agenda always seems to be
the hardest to pursue.
As indicated in Exhibit 6.1, strategic issues and therefore strategies to address them may be focused on:

1.Addressing the need for new or revised high-level rules for making rules; institutional
redesign; or adaptations involving new knowledge exploration, new concepts, changes in basic
stakeholders and/or stakeholder relationships, or radical new technologies

2.Creating a process (for example, a strategic planning process) to develop mission, vision, and
goals and realize them in practice

3.Producing programs, products, projects, and services

4.Controlling strategy delivery in the present

5.Developing future capabilities

6.Maintaining and enhancing stakeholder relations
Strategies also can vary by time frame, from fairly short-term to long-term, and by level. Four basic
levels include:

1.Grand strategy for the organization as a whole.

2.Subunit strategies. Subunits may be divisions, departments, or units of larger organizations.

3.Program, service, or business process strategies.

4.Functional strategies (such as financial, staffing, communications, facilities, information
technology, and procurement strategies).
Strategies are different from tactics. Tactics are the short-term, adaptive actions and reactions used to
accomplish limited objectives. Strategies provide the “continuing basis for ordering these adaptations
toward more broadly conceived purposes” (Quinn, 1980, p. 9). One needs to be cautious, however,
about drawing too sharp a distinction between the two, given the importance of changing environments
and emergent strategies. As Mintzberg (1994, p. 243) observes, “The trouble with the strategy-tactics
distinction is that one can never be sure which is which until all the dust has settled.”
The purpose of the strategy formulation and plan development step (Step 6) is to create a set of
strategies that will effectively link the organization (or community) to its environment and create
significant and enduring public value. Typically these strategies will be developed in response to
strategic issues, but they may also be developed to achieve goals or a vision of success. The purpose of
the strategy and plan adoption step (Step 7) is to gain authoritative decisions to move ahead with
implementing the strategies and plans.
The Loft’s 2007–2012 Strategic Plan provides a good example of formulated and adopted strategies (The
Loft, 2010). The plan is straightforward, clearly structured, well written, fairly short at fourteen pages
with lots of graphics and white space, indicates when it was adopted by the board of directors, and
includes contact information. The plan begins on its cover with a statement of the mission (see Exhibit
4.3). The organization’s vision and values follow on succeeding pages. Next come seven pages devoted
to the Loft’s strategies arranged according to three themes: building and sustaining relationships,
reaching out, and infrastructure (see Exhibit 7.1). For each strategy the plan lists action steps and an
overall success measure. For example, the first strategy under the theme of building and sustaining
relationships includes the following action steps:

•Continue ongoing evaluation and improvement of Loft programs, course offerings, activities,
events, and overall operation
Exhibit 7.1. The Loft’s Strategies, 2007–2012.
Source: Reprinted with permission of The Loft Literary Center.

•Continue existing collaborative partnerships with other successful literary or artistic
organizations to encourage shared vision, consider exchanges, link to one another’s Web sites,
and copublicize national opportunities for writers and readers

•Expand the use of the Loft’s Web site by all Loft departments to modernize and update
programs to reach an increasingly Web-based readership.
The overall success measure of these activities is growth in vitality and attendance by people from a
variety of backgrounds. The next two pages of the plan discuss the process by which it was developed.
Then come two pages that present the outcomes resulting from the prior 2002–2007 plan. The final
page of the plan (the back cover) lists the cochairs and members of the task force teams, along with the
members of the strategic planning team.
A very different example is provided by the City of Charlotte, North Carolina’s, City Strategy (discussed
as well in Chapter Two) (City of Charlotte, NC, 2009). The City Strategy represents a statement of grand
strategy for the city adopted by the city council (see Exhibit 7.2). The strategy includes a statement of
vision and mission and then is organized in a balanced scorecard format. The four main scorecard
categories (perspectives) are:

•Serve the customer. What are our mission and vision?

•Run the business. At what processes must we excel to achieve the mission and vision?

•Manage resources. How do we ensure value in achieving the mission and vision?

•Develop employees. How do we develop employees to respond to the mission and vision?
The city’s current sixteen objectives are organized as responses to the questions presented by these
perspectives. The four categories and sixteen objectives apply to all five of the focus areas the city
council has identified in its grand strategy statement:

•Community safety

•Housing and neighborhood development



•Economic development
Key business units, support business units, and divisions within the city manager’s office (from aviation
to solid waste services) submit annual business plans that describe how the organization provides
services and programs, and responds to strategic and organizational initiatives. Each business plan relies
on the common BSC format tailored to fit its unique circumstances and showing how the organization
contributes to implementing the grand strategy. The city’s annual performance report is also organized
according to the BSC perspectives (City of Charlotte, NC, 2009).
Exhibit 7.2. City of Charlotte, NC, City Strategy.
Source: City of Charlotte, NC, 2009, pp. 3, 5. Reprinted with permission from the City of Charlotte, North
Unfortunately, not enough governments, nonprofit organizations, collaborations, or communities have
thought as long and hard as the Loft or the City of Charlotte about what they want to do, for whom,
why, where, when, and how. Nor have most condensed their thinking into a succinct grand strategy,
either in text or graphic form. As a result, there is often little more than an odd assortment of goals and
policies to guide decision making and action in pursuit of organizational purposes. In the absence of
deliberate or emergent overall strategic directions, the sum of the organization’s parts can be expected
to add up to something less than a whole. Of course, in a period of transition from a deliberate strategy
to an emergent one whose contours are not yet clear, or vice versa, perhaps this is acceptable—even
good (Lindblom, 1990; Mulgan, 2009; Kay, 2010). In such cases, sometimes the best strategy is sustained
exploration, prototyping, trials, and pilot testing (Scharmer, 2009). Franklin D. Roosevelt argued in the
midst of the Great Depression for “bold, persistent experimentation.” He went on to say, “Try
something; if it fails, admit it frankly, and try another” (quoted in Kay, 2010, p. 128). Or the organization
may face powerful stakeholders whose expectations are conflicting or contradictory, making it unwise or
impossible to develop a coherent grand strategy. In either case, the organization’s key decision makers
and planning team should be clear at least in their own minds about the legitimate reasons—as opposed
to what may be excuses—for not having a grand strategy.
Special note must also be made of the importance for many organizations of having a strategy for
technology use, particularly information and communication technology (ICT) use. Note that the Loft’s
first strategy mentioned earlier takes particular note of the importance of the World Wide Web for
pursuit of the Loft’s mission. A larger-scale example comes from the Labour Government of the United
Kingdom, which published an ICT strategy for the central government in early 2010 (see Exhibit 7.3).
Although the Labour government lost the May 2010 election and was succeeded by a coalition of the
Conservatives and Liberal-Democrats, it is hard to see how the new government can avoid embracing all
or most of the strategy. Any public or nonprofit organization, collaborative, or community would be wise
to attend to the need for an ICT strategy that emphasizes common infrastructure, standards, capability,
and implementation approaches and keep the fourteen enumerated “strands of delivery” in mind as
strategic planning participants consider which strands might pose issues and which might offer useful
strategy components.
Exhibit 7.3. The ICT Strategy for the British Government.
Source: Her Majesty’s Government, 2010, p. 18.
Desired Immediate and Longer-Term Outcomes
Several immediate desired planning outcomes may emerge from these two steps. First, the organization
(or collaboration) might seek a grand strategy statement for itself, perhaps including an accompanying
strategy map. It also might want subunit; program, product, project, service, or business process; and
functional strategy statements for its constituent parts. It might want to tie all of these statements to
balanced scorecards, as the City of Charlotte does. On the one hand, a complete set of these statements
may be warranted if the organization has chosen the vision of success approach; the set would be
necessary to clarify strategies for achieving the vision. On the other hand, the organization may have
more limited aims. If it has chosen the direct or indir …
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