After the strategic planning session is done, the real work begins.

The next step after a strategic planning session is exploring the feasibility that didn’t happen at the planning session. The team are now tasked with the feasibility study. How does this work? What do we need to do? What resources are required?

Often each board member is then tasked with being a champion of one of the goals that they hold most dear. A goal that they can really commit to.

After doing that, the next step is for each of those champions to then strike a task force. Now, a task force is kind of like a committee but it’s not a standing committee. It’s a task force that has a specific task. The task is to review and make recommendations on a specific policy and then report their recommendations to the board for a decision as to what to do next. That’s the job of a task force, it’s task-oriented and it has a limited time horizon unlike normal standing committees like membership committee, finance committee, program committee, all of these committees are what we call standing committees that are always there. There’s always something going on. These though task forces are there for a specific need or a specific purpose or a specific project and therefore have and should have a time horizon, a sunset clause. In this case, what we did with this group here today, was each of these task forces is struck today and will be ended in four months and that was enough time that we felt that the board needed to do their due diligence and some further research on each of those strategic goals. Four months because they meet bimonthly they’ll have two board meetings in which to report and speak and share and discuss before they report their findings. Be sure that you set up task forces. Have a task force chair and then finally come up with the terms of reference for each of those task forces.

The final piece of advice that I would give you around setting up a task force or a committee is to set up a task force or committee comprised of members. One of the biggest mistakes that boards make is they feel like the directors have to do all the work themselves. Well, that’s a recipe for burnout that doesn’t work and it’s not sustainable. If you want something sustainable with leverage, you need to get more people on your team. What that means is your job is the chair is not to do all the work. Your job as chair is to recruit committee members or task force members engage them, get them involved, get them feeling empowered and invite them to join your team and assist you in doing some of the hard work.


Tip 1: Build a task force.

Those were three tips on what to do, well, several tips but on what to do before during and after a strategic planning session. Hope you guys found these tips really useful. If you have any questions at all about elements of strategic planning or board governance, how to run effective board meetings, anything related to the not-for-profit sector, I’d be happy to answer your questions in the comment below or drop me a private message, happy to chat with you. Tom Abbott here from AMC NPO solutions live in Merritt bc until next time. See ya.

About Tom (TJ) Abbott

Tom (TJ) Abbott, CSP is the Managing Director of AMC NPO Solutions and an authority on Governance. He has over 25 years experience as CEO, President and board director of several not-for-profit organizations. Tom has also spoken in over 20 countries.

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