We believe that traditional approaches to strategic planning do not allow for lateral thinking, and in essence, new ideas. However, if we are to address society’s most wicked challenges, seeking transformation, new ideas are exactly what we need.
We do strategic planning differently- by first engaging in an expansive, creative process, before we turn to look at what an organisation does today.
After bringing in traditional tools to stress test ideas, we then we take the all-important step of translating concepts into pragmatic action, so that the final document doesn’t just end up buried deep on a website, but clearly guides the decisions of Boards and Executives.
As trusted advisors, we help our clients with strategic planning through projects, coaching and capability building.
A typical Not-for-profit funding model is not resilient. With heavy reliance on government grants and philanthropy, many organisations are exposed to risk of funding loss or do not have discretionary funds to target towards areas where they see need.
Through our business model projects, we work with clients to explore new revenue streams, with the aim of diversifying and increasing income. Our profit for purpose solutions can comprise a range of opportunities such as commercialisation of products and services, strategic partnerships and asset realisation.
With strong networks in the venture philanthropy and impact investing arenas, we help create compelling business cases for investment, detailing the business plans required to bring the models to life.
Recent years have seen the rise in demand for organisation’s to demonstrate their impact. This demand has come from funders, donors, staff and the community, and with the rise of trends such as consumer-directed and outcomes-based funding, this expectation is only going to increase.
While impact measurement has become an arguably over-complicated discipline in its own right, we help our clients to cut through the noise and create evidence-based, compelling narratives that demonstrate the impact they are creating.
The process starts by ensuring that there is a clearly articulated theory of change, then it’s about mapping data that you already have, and combining the measurable facts, with real-life case studies.
We not only focus on an organisation’s individual impact, but we also consider broader frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals and social determinants of health, cascading the impact to align to powerful collective narratives.
Underpinning the successful execution of any strategy is an organisation’s operating model; namely, its people, processes and systems.
We take business planning the extra step and help to map out the key processes that an organisation needs to deliver its critical business, as well as any new strategy.
We work through operational planning with our clients to ensure that organisational designs have the right people, in the right roles, to bring the strategy to life.
And we look at the underlying systems to identify whether any changes in infrastructure, e.g. digital technologies could enhance efficiency or effectiveness.
Having a clear sense of how the triumvirate of these three components come together, gives leaders the information they need to make resourcing and investment decisions to support their aspirations.
Outcomes-focused strategy must be designed with input from beneficiaries. Co-design is therefore a pivotal step of any strategic initiative.
We have developed a market-leading reputation for co-design processes that involve vulnerable participants. We understand the balance between sensitivities and driving outcomes, and we know how to remove power from a room when there is a combination of lived experience, funders and practitioners in a session.
In addition to external community engagement, our projects also involved a number of internal facilitated sessions with our clients. These workshops enable teams to lift their heads above the day to day, and ask the really important questions such as what problems we exist to solve and for whom? Our interpersonal approach is engaging and fun, without being frivolous, and as a result of COVID-19, we now have the capability to run these sessions in person or digitally.
Spark Strategy acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which we work, and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community.
We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders past, present and emerging.