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  • Melinda Steffy

Strategic Planning Overview

Concentric Strategy’s approach to strategic planning is perfect for change moments and transition points, as well as refreshing your organization's forward momentum.


We draw on two frameworks: “The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution” by David La Piana and “Emergent Strategy” by adrienne maree brown.


Because the world is constantly changing, organizational strategy must be responsive in real-time. And because organizations are inherently made up of people, strategy must be deeply inclusive and relationship-centered. Rather than create a glorified three-year to-do list, we help your board and staff align around a clear strategic direction, so that you can move forward with shared vision and intentionality.


Our process comprises three main stages, which correspond to three components of the final plan.



  1. SURVEYING THE LANDSCAPE. We learn where your organization is now through robust stakeholder conversations (focus groups, interviews, surveys) that help to build and strengthen your relationships. We articulate core values, define your organizational identity, and analyze broader trends.

  2. IDENTIFYING YOUR NORTH STAR. At a board/staff retreat, we identify where you want to go by creating a Big Question that will guide all decision-making. By continually seeking to answer the Big Question, you will find yourself heading in the right direction. An accompanying Strategy Screen empowers anyone to make strategy-aligned decisions in real-time.

  3. MAPPING A PATH FORWARD. With a smaller committee, we create mileposts that will guide the journey, in the form of key strategic priorities and recommended tactics for each. The tactics provide steps for moving forward, but are intended to be fluid, with an implementation plan that gives you flexibility to adapt over time. Tactics take into consideration financial sustainability and human capacity, to ensure you can successfully carry out the plan.


We love how adrienne maree brown describes the fractal nature of strategy:


“What we practice at the small scale sets the patterns for the whole system.”

The final strategic plan gives you shared direction and aspirational-yet-realistic steps that will lead you toward a new vision.



“I feel incredibly excited by the tangibility of the Strategic Plan. The process Melinda presented allowed the committee to think expansively and then ground ourselves in the practicality of our organization. And further articulating just what matters most ... and finding ways for this organization to flourish has been a challenging but joyous puzzle.” —Mariah Ghant, Delaware Shakespeare
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