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Introduction to Strategy for Changemakers

Shana Dressler

The word “strategy” originates from the battlefield, but we now use it in the context of social innovation. Defined as “a plan of action designed to achieve a goal,” strategy could be a plan for directing troops and military operations to win a war or for figuring out a way to make your social venture succeed. “Figuring things out as they come along” is a kind of strategy, but it is not often the most effective one.

In this class, you will learn how to make a strategic plan that works for you.

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  • Melvin Jarman

    I have been fortunate enough to learn the hard way that strategy is essential, ESPECIALLY for a social enterprise. Relying on goodwill, 'luck' and firefighting skills can get you quite far, but it's destination burnout, and ultimately doesn't bring sustainable results.
    What has become clear to me, is that strategic planning needs to be carried out right from a business' inception, starting with the vision, and this needs to be incorporated into all of the core processes, especially the HR framework. It can easily get lost to the day to day pressures of operations, but without a comprehensive strategy that is held in awareness by all active stakeholders/employees, it is all too easy to get sidetracked and swallowed up in menial tasks.
    A regularly updated plan of action, including details of who will carry out the various essential tasks, is equally important - needless to say, a good communication structure is essential to implementing strategic plans.