“Strategic planning is worthless, unless there is first a vision.”
– John Naisbitt
Good strategy is foundational to the success of projects, programs and entire organizations. The right strategy provides clarity and alignment around how to achieve a vision, setting parameters for how to prioritize time, energy and investment. In an increasingly resource-constrained environment, this is especially important.
We work with organizations to clarify their vision and set out a strategy to achieve it. We collaborate with organizations that directly implement programs, with funders investing in portfolios of projects, with strategic alliances and collaborations that bring together multiple stakeholders under a common vision, and with individuals seeking to catalyze change.
Strategies can’t be developed in isolation, however. Our work brings together multiple partners within or across organizations to guide visioning and strategy development. The richness that comes from including multiple perspectives strengthens the integrity, feasibility and ambition of the resulting directions and plans.
Strategy development also must extend beyond a set-and-forget exercise. We work with our partners to bring their strategies to life through disciplined planning of strategic execution.
Ultimately, strategies serve as roadmaps to guide day-to-day activities and adjust course regularly to keep the long-term vision in sight. In this way, our strategy work is directly connected to our work in organizational development and measurement, evaluation and learning.
Examples of questions we have addressed or are thinking about include:
- Given the local political and socio-economic contexts specific to individual countries, what strategies should foundations deploy in particular places to define their presence, funding levels and sectoral focus?
- How might an organization develop its vision and strategy for philanthropic venture investing?
- What is an appropriate strategy for an organizational effectiveness grant-making program?
- What is the value proposition of a strategic alliance?
- Maryjane Lacoste
Senior Program Officer, Family Planning Service Delivery and Quality, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Examples of our work include:
GIA developed a vision and strategy for a client’s philanthropic venture investing in the life sciences. GIA’s work led to a deeper understanding across the organization of the aims, strategies and approaches of the life sciences venture investing team.