Strategic Planning: What’s in Store for Laridae?

By Danielle Rocheleau

As our clients know, Laridae is a team of planners. We encourage reflection on process and engagement. We help our clients develop strategic plans that are broad enough to avoid becoming irrelevant by next year, while still being tangible enough to be actionable.

Many of you might wonder: do we take our own advice?

As our 2017-2019 strategic plan comes to a close, we are excited to enter the new decade with a refreshed three-year strategic plan. Over a six-month period, we have collected the client feedback we received through our ongoing quality assurance surveys, reviewed relevant market information and considered client demand, all while continually engaging our team in the process.

Here’s a little sneak peek into the finalization of our own strategy and how we plan to implement it.

Laridae’s New Strategic Plan

Our Three Strategic Directions

One of the key components of an effective strategic plan is its strategic directions. In our case, we boiled down our focus to three strategic directions.

1. An Excellent Client Experience

Our clients work hard. We are continuously impressed by the level of value and service our clients deliver to the communities in which they operate. We know that our clients work in a world of change and pressure with minimal funding and resources – and yet they are committed to their mission. Our understanding of this landscape, and the people that work within it, is what ultimately drives Laridae’s purpose.

Our mission states that we are here “to solve the non-profit and public sector’s toughest challenges; help leaders implement change that lasts; and support organizational resiliency and sustainability so our clients can soar.” To achieve this, Laridae prioritizes the development of strong relationships with our clients. We want to be sure that each client has a positive and empowering experience that results in practical solutions that build capacity and can easily be implemented.

How are we going to be able to achieve this? By proactively collecting feedback from our clients, regularly reviewing our own processes, and staying on top of best practices, we will ensure that our services are effectively responding to the needs of our clients.

As we continue to grow and evolve as a company, we will continue to find new ways to deliver accessible service and resources to small organizations, add value to large service providers, and facilitate community capacity building across Ontario and beyond.

2. A Valued Workplace Culture

We are committed to ensuring Laridae remains a great place to work.

Through our behaviour as a company, as a team, and as individuals, we have created a workplace culture that is supportive, collaborative, and self-managed. We attract and retain people who share our values, who are driven by purpose, and who ultimately want to have a positive impact on the world.

As an organization, we respect and value our team members. We demonstrate this through transparency and advice-based decision making, and by leading with our values.

We lean into challenging discussions with the purpose of driving solutions that make the company, and our team, stronger.

Laridae strives to offer competitive compensation packages that consider work-life balance, pay appropriately, and ensure long-term staff satisfaction and retention.

Laridae is a place that ensures continuous learning and provides opportunities for individual growth. Each team member is integral to the success of the company and contributes to the collective experiences we have together and with our clients.

Laridae is place where people want to work, grow, and stay.

3. A Strong and Stable Company

We are here for the long haul.

As a values-driven company, we know that we can only deliver on our purpose if we are sustainable.

Although success is our ultimate goal, we will define it in our own way. We will question growth for the sake of growth, and we will strive to make decisions that make us stronger and more supportive of the people and organizations that deliver important human services across Ontario and beyond.

Laridae will make financial decisions that enhance stability, we will invest in hiring when we’re ready, we will ensure ongoing knowledge transfer to increase internal capacity and reduce gaps, and we will actively manage ongoing risk.

What does this mean for you?

Laridae is committed to continuing to deliver our quality consulting services in strategic planning, supporting effective governance, and guiding operational planning and reviews. We will leverage communications to best tell your story, and help you get ahead of change management and foster your own healthy workplace culture.

You have also likely noticed through our ongoing communications that we are now taking a much bigger role in training services. In addition to the wide range of tailored workshops we offer our clients, we launched a comprehensive Management Training Program for Non-Profits, we delivered community-wide Governance Training, and we are currently launching a Leadership Development Program.

Ultimately, we continue to be here to help further develop your capacity so you can deliver even more quality service.

Putting Strategy into Action: Developing a One-Year Operational Plan

So, we have a plan. Now what? This is where the actionable tasks and checklists come in.

After we completed our strategic plan, which includes clear commitments and measurable outcomes corresponding with each strategic direction, we began working as a team to make a 2020 Operational Plan. In this plan, we have tied each strategy to actions for the next 12 months.

Laridae’s Operational Plan includes:

  • Objectives: We support the commitments we made in our strategic plan by identifying a list of corresponding objectives for the year.
  • Actions: Each objective is broken down into one or more tasks that will help us achieve it.
  • Priority Level: We know that in planning we get excited and throw in ‘everything and the kitchen sink.’ By setting a priority level for each objective, we can easily decide which ones can be moved off the ‘to do’ list when we get busy.
  • Accountability: It is critical to identify ONE team member who will be ultimately responsible for ensuring we achieve the objective. This does not mean that there is only one person working on the objective. In fact, the person who is accountable may not even be the person who is doing most of the work.
  • Team Support: We identify which coworkers will help move the action forward.
  • Timelines: Setting a timeline for each objective helps us map out a balanced and realistic work plan for the year.
  • Resources: We determine what resources we will need to accomplish the task – People? Time? Money? Materials?
  • Measurement: In order to clarify the objective, we define specific outcomes that can be measured. This drives our operational key performance indicators (KPIs).

We are also using our strategic and operational plans to drive more specific planning such as finalizing our brand platform, developing a new communications strategy, and establishing an internal Social and Environmental Impact action plan.

What’s Next for You?

As we move forward into this new year and a brand new decade, we encourage you to reflect on what the next year looks like for your organization.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you planning your next strategic planning process?
  • Do you want to strengthen your governance policies and/or offer professional development to your board?
  • Are you thinking about developing an internal communications strategy that enhances your team and workplace culture?
  • Should you undertake scenario planning for changes that could impact your organization?

Consider the tasks ahead by determining your internal capacity to move them off your desk and into action. Be sure to let us know how we can help. We would love to support your efforts in 2020 and beyond.