[foundation-board] Strategy process - a request

Becky Hogge becky.hogge at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 09:09:58 UTC 2012

Hi Jane, hi all

Thanks for this response - I think it's deeply reasonable. I help off
coming back to give other Board members the chance to pitch in, but
since they haven't yet...

On 14 September 2012 10:57, Jane Silber <jane.silber at canonical.com> wrote:
> Hi -
> Still learning my way around here, so please forgive me if I'm off base.
> On 12/09/12 15:10, Becky Hogge wrote:
>> At ORG we had a simple strategy document against which I, as ED, was
>> able to report to the Board each month. It contained a 12-month budget
>> and a set of about 12 key indicators against which I detailed the
>> organisation's performance that month. As well as tracking
>> performance, it also helped guide my decision making.
> I agree that such a reporting and decision-making tool would be useful.


> However, ...
>> I would like to propose that the Executive team be asked by the Board
>> to move quickly towards creating such a document, even if it is only
>> to act as an interim measure while more in-depth strategic work takes
>> place.
> Because I am new to the scene, I don't have the same "I've wanted this for a
> long time" feeling that Becky has.  And so I question the value of spending
> time working on a doc that reports performance against goals that are
> currently in flux.  Even if many of the component pieces exist, it's work to
> do reporting like this and to make it meaningful.  And if there really is an
> unanswered question on the table about priorities and goals then it seems to
> me that answering that question should be the focus of the executive
> team/leaders in the organisation.  I'm assuming that like most organisations
> there are very limited resources and much work to do, and in a choice
> between reporting on how we're progressing against unknown goals and
> priorities vs setting out clear goals and priorities, I would prefer the
> latter.  It may be that the goal setting results in the exact same reporting
> that could be done now, but we don't know that and there would be value in
> affirmation.
> My personal preference by that the priority be to clearly lay out strategic
> goals (or even annual ones, if long term strategy is too daunting or
> uncertain in OKFN's evolution). Once that is in place, then regular
> reporting against those priorities/goals would be not only valuable but
> necessary. Spending time creating new dashboard reporting on the things that
> we happen to have data for seems less valuable to me.  Such reporting may
> tell us how fast we're travelling down a road, but it won't matter if it's
> the wrong road.

In light of Jane's comments, which I think make a lot of sense, I'd
like to know from the Executive team what their deadline is for having
a clear set of strategic goals, with accompanying reporting dashboard.



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