Monday, 27 January 2020

Strategy on a page Workshop

I attended the one day strategy on a page course led by Amanda Stearn. It was held at St. Chad's Court, Birmingham with 16 attendees. I wanted find a way to align the Library service strategy to that of my organisation and present it in a simple format that is succinct. Amanda steered the conversation away from the NHS to give some context to how we look to strategies as a whole. Bringing the session back to healthcare with a host of examples and exercises, she put us through our paces eliciting ideas on what we considered contributing factors from macro drivers such as the HEE, service users, host organisations to SWOT (local and external factors) such as budgets, staffing pressures, technology, and the political climate.

Aligning the vision and mission to that of the organisations ensures that the strategies and operations executed advance those of the organisation. We looked at how different segments of a strategy fit together and what they address.
Why - Vision - Why the service exists
Who - Mission - Who the service is in support of the vision
What - Priorities - What the service intends to accomplish in to meet the mission.
How - Strategies - Outline of how the priorities will be realised
How, where, when - Operational plan - More detailed practical actions that will be executed to realise the strategies.

We practiced on a whole strategy and converting it into a one page document with the use of a very helpful template. We also had the chance to identify enablers which are the things that will impact and make what we want happen such as funding and technology.

Different terminologies are often used to describe the same thing such as mission / purpose or goals / priorities. It is important to avoid the use of passive words like "support" and embrace the use of power words like enrich and strengthen to sell the service as an integral instrument for meeting the overarching goals of the organisation. We were supplied with tips on how to engage team members in the process by supplying the priorities and having them individually give their opinions on post-its on what the operational plans could entail. This gives every team member the chance to voice their thoughts and then collectively work backwards to the core strategies.

The focus of the workshop was generating a strategy on one page but it gave insight into how a template can be used to derive the summary for the service from my organisation strategy and then develop the full strategy for the service thereafter. It was useful to work with others and see how our different organisations and ways of thinking influenced our approaches to writing and structuring catchy sentences to reflect what we want. I had a wealth of ideas which I intend to implement in the hopes of enhancing the content of the service strategy.

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