Why Strategy in Social and Solidarity Action (II)
The dynamic context in which we live leads to the need to build lasting and stable institutions, stimulating the adoption of strategies that enhance the growth of efficiency and effectiveness associated with providing their services.
Strategic Management emerges as the process through which an organization formulates and implements its strategy. Its implementation must involve the sharing of thoughts and ideas among managers, the consequent exploration of the various possible scenarios for organizational action and the establishment of consensus regarding the development of a viable continuity mechanism that allows adaptation to the constraints of each time.
This process is not, however, exclusive to entities in the for-profit sector, although, until the mid-seventies, Management was seen as an integral part of a business culture that did not fit the mission and values of the non-profit sector.
Nowadays, we are witnessing what can be called a “colonization” of the Social Economy by Management, resulting from a growing need for these organizations to become more effective. The dynamic context in which we live leads to the need to build lasting and stable institutions, stimulating the adoption of strategies that enhance the growth of efficiency and effectiveness associated with providing their services. Underlying this position is the idea that these organizations seek, depending on their context, their web of relationships, the problems and challenges they face and their specificities, to develop capabilities that enable them to perform correctly of their strategy. Competencies already exist within the organization that allows facing contextual dynamism.
It is also desirable that permanent cooperation be stimulated between economic and social actors to promote the common good. Such a relationship must be based on the trust of the actors, on the sharing of shared objectives, on the adoption of rigorous strategic planning and on the efficient sharing of costs, time and risks associated with it, taking as a starting point the aggregation of resources and the coordination of activities to achieve collective results.
Thus, the strategic management process in non-profit organizations can be described as an ongoing process that includes four main aspects: strategic analysis, formulation, implementation and evaluation, which presupposes the adoption of a continuous and circular approach, which guarantees access to correct, reliable and timely information, enabling the transformation of information into practical knowledge and generating flexibility in adapting organizations to their surroundings.
These organizations should start this process by defining a coherent picture of what their aspirations are and how they manage their performance, and this picture should include the following elements:
Mission – the main purpose of the organization.
Vision – perspective on what the organization wants to be in the future.
Strategies – description of how resources will be organized to achieve the defined objectives.
Strategic Objectives – statements about what the organization would like to achieve in a given time frame.
Performance Measures – indicators used by the direction, management and other structures to monitor organizational actions.
Looking at an organization from a strategic point of view implies focusing on three generic dimensions: an internal perspective (centered on resources and capabilities as sources of uniqueness), an external perspective (based on the sector’s structure and the relative positioning of organizations) and a dynamic perspective (based on building bridges between internal and external perspectives).
The relationship of any organization with its surroundings presupposes a bidirectional impact, as it is not just the corporate activity that affects society (inside-out linkages); external social conditions also influence organizations, and there are outside-in linkages. Upstream of this impact are the premises that led to the creation of the various entities and the formulation of their value propositions, making perfect sense to explore this dimension in the particular context of non-profit organizations.