Business advice & planning
We support not-for-profits and social enterprises to enhance their social impact through development of business models, strategic planning, research and marketing. We work with small, medium and large organisations and tailor our level of support to suit your needs, from hands-on support with service delivery, to business audits and reviews, to facilitation of strategic planning.
Every organisation needs a strategy that clearly identifies pathways to achieving mission.
We believe that strategic development is not a once off operational set of processes, procedures and objectives, but an opportunity for organisations to engage in the dynamic activity of ensuring mission is achieved by appropriately positioning the organisation for the future.
As De Wit & Meyer suggest, “strategic thinking is in its very essence questioning, challenging, unconventional and innovative” (see their work Strategy Synthesis: Resolving Strategy Paradoxes to Create Competitive Advantage, p. xv.). We agree with them that a critical, analytical, flexible and creative state of mind is to be encouraged when we engage in strategic development and planning.
However the annual strategic planning process is something that generally the management team dreads – they simply don’t have time for it and find it frustrating. Most organisations don’t realise strategic planning is a process that can and should be outsourced because it:
- Brings a fresh set of eyes to old challenges.
- Allows for a ‘reality check’ on internal ‘myths’.
- Provides opportunity for more objectivity.
- Opens up learnings from outside your own specific activity.
We conduct strategic planning on the basis of the following five guidelines:
- Know your biases (critical self and corporate reflection)
- Use whole brain processes
- Embrace complexity as well as linear thinking
- Focus on outcomes and mission, not outputs
- Scan the environment for awareness of how context is changing and find the evidence
At the Dragonfly Collective (DFC) we have developed a number of tools to assist in the strategic planning process. In working with you we can utilise the:
- DFC Organisational Assessment Tool – identifies organisational weaknesses and strengths across financial management, external stakeholder relations, governance and management.
- DFC Strategic Planning Tool – identifies the key strategic areas, goals, outcomes, outputs, tactics and measures for three to five year plans – a simple and flexible tool that encourages new ways of thinking and exploring the future.
- DFC Enterprise Business Planning Tool – a robust set of procedures that provides the essential analysis and rigour to keep a program or product operating in a state of excellence.
- DFC Critical Thinking & Analysis Tool – a simple yet penetrating approach to identifying ‘myths’, worldviews and biases that may cloud the horizon with pre-committed views and inhibit openness to future innovation.
Research & development
We offer research and development capability through project scoping to uncover evidence-based need.
For example in a previous role Andrew Curtis was requested to consider what the options might be for an empty 30 bed ‘nursing home’ that was no longer financially viable to operate. Research into the plight of asylum seekers living lawfully in the community on temporary protection visas and confirmation of the evidence of their needs, Sanctuary was established (see www.baptcare.org.au) and currently provides integrated case management and support for 30 male asylum seekers at risk form homelessness and serious social exclusion.
If you or your organisation has a concept you need tested and proven, or if you are interested in uncovering needs that exist in your local community, contact us to discuss how we might be able to assist.
Read about our work in developing social change models for more information on our approach to research and project development.
Generating awareness and support of your organisation is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of enhancing your ability to generate social impact. It can be difficult to have a broad impact if your community isn’t aware of your work.
At the Dragonfly Collective, we can assist you to develop a simple and easy to implement marketing plan that will engage and influence your key customers and stakeholders. All our marketing plans are developed utilising the Marketing for Good Tool Kit – a set of guidelines and templates developed through the Australian Marketing Institute specifically for not-for-profit organisations.
This includes initial market research, strategic marketing planning, campaign implementation and marketing tracking/metrics.
Contact us for more information on how our tools and processes can benefit your organisation.