A7: Long-term strategy is dead: adapting planning to a complex world

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It is a cliché to say that charities are operating in a radically changing environment – but the cliché isn’t wrong. While voluntary organisations have always needed to respond rapidly, the current times feel exceptional: a volatile political landscape, exit from the European Union, major shifts in funding streams and arguably more complex problems to try to solve.

Against this backdrop we must alter - or at least question - the way we plan for the future. This isn’t about better predicting the future; rather reimagining the entire way our organisations consider the outside world, manage resources, and make decisions. The questions we might ask are:

  • Is a three or five-year strategic plan worthwhile?
  • Should you replace annual planning cycles with continual assessment and change?
  • What methods can inform and challenge your organisation’s thinking?
  • What can the voluntary sector learn from the arts, design and campaigning?

This session will bring together speakers from outside the voluntary sector bringing fresh and different perspectives to share their ideas, provoke debate and challenge the traditional thinking on how organisations approach strategy and planning.

Speaker

Alex Farrow, Lead Consultant, NCVO Charities Evaluation Services

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