Early Childhood Systems Building Resource Guide

Frameworks for Strategic Planning

Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World (John P. Kotter, 2014)

This book is based on an award-winning article in the Harvard Business Review by leadership expert John Kotter. Accelerate provides a framework for being more successful in an often turbulent world. Kotter explains how traditional organizational hierarchies evolved to meet daily demands. For most organizations—public and private—the hierarchy is a singular operating system. But this system is not built for an environment where change has become the norm. Kotter advocates a new system—a second, more agile, network-like structure that operates in concert with the hierarchy to create a dual operating system. This new system allows organizations to overcome challenges and make progress toward goals and results.

Applied Strategic Planning: How to Develop a Plan That Really Works (Leonard Goodstein, Timothy Nolan, and J. William Pfeiffer, 1993)

Applied Strategic Planning shows managers a clear, effective way to identify and carry out strategic objectives. It presents organizational culture, integration of operational and functional plans, performance audits, gap analysis, and values clarification. The book also covers aspects of the planning process, including the following:

  • Determining if an organization is ready for strategic planning
  • Effectively communicating a corporate vision
  • Recognizing the role of culture in changing strategic direction
  • Understanding the various roles of a consultant
  • Writing effective mission statements
  • Creating contingency plans

This book includes charts, diagrams, and checklists along with examples.

Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement, 4th edition (John M. Bryson, 2011)

Bryson provides a strategic planning model and outlines the reasons public and nonprofit organizations must embrace strategic planning to improve performance. The book offers leaders, managers, and students detailed guidance on implementing the process and specific tools and techniques to make the process work.

Trying Hard is Not Good Enough (Mark Friedman, 2005)

This book is for managers and decisionmakers in many different settings. The author provides practical methods for taking actions that are simple and are based on common sense, use plain language, produce minimum paper, and are actually useful to managers, community members, and decisionmakers.

The book’s Results Accountability framework can be used to improve the quality of life in communities, cities, counties, and states.

Planning and Assessment Tools

Mind Tools (Mind Tools Ltd., 1996–2015)

Established in 1996, Mind Tools helps people in leadership roles at many different levels within organizations—ranging from senior executives to young professionals. The website provides information about hundreds of useful skills and techniques. The site is often refreshed with new materials that can help you make personal development an ongoing part of your life, keeping your skills fresh and up to date. The Strategy Tools and Creativity Tools are particularly helpful.

Toolkits on Strategic Planning and Systems Development (BUILD Initiative, n.d.)

Strategic Planning at the Community Level. The resources and tools in this toolkit support cross-sector, community-level collaborations aimed at developing comprehensive strategic plans that are logical and data driven and include policies, programs, and practices. The tools include strategic planning process checklists and templates, as well as examples of local strategic plans.

Systems Development through Shared Action. These resources, tools, and examples support the planning and implementation of activities that cross systems and programs and focus on systemic change. Areas of shared activities work include coordination of resources and referrals and professional development.