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Community Strategy

Community Strategy

2 Community Strategy

2.1 Strategy Development: How does your community excellence group develop its strategy?

a. Strategy Development PROCESS

(1)  Strategic Planning ProcessHOW do you conduct your strategic planning? What are the KEY PROCESS steps? Who are the KEY participants? What are your short- and longer-term planning horizons? HOW are they addressed in the planning PROCESS? HOW does your strategic planning PROCESS address the potential need for agility and for prioritization of change initiatives?

(2)  INNOVATIONHOW does your strategy development PROCESS stimulate and incorporate INNOVATION? HOW do you identify STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES? HOW do you decide which STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES are INTELLIGENT RISKS to pursue? What are your KEY STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES?

(3)  Strategy ConsiderationsHOW do you collect and analyze relevant data and develop information for your strategic planning PROCESS? In this collection and ANALYSIS, HOW do you include these KEY elements of risk?

  • Potential changes in your community environment
  • Potential blind spots in your strategic planning PROCESS and information
  • Community RESILIENCE
  • Your group’s ability to execute the strategic plan

(4) WORK SYSTEMS and CORE COMPETENCIES In your strategy development, HOW do you consider resources both inside and outside the community excellence group for your WORK SYSTEMS? HOW does this consideration take into account your STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES, your CORE COMPETENCIES, and the CORE COMPETENCIES of potential PARTNERS and COLLABORATORS? HOW do you determine what future CORE COMPETENCIES and WORK SYSTEMS you will need?


(1)  KEY STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES What are your KEY STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES and timetable for achieving them? What are your most important GOALS for these STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES? What KEY changes, if any, are planned in your programs, resident and other CUSTOMER groups, services, PARTNERS, and operations?

(2)  STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE ConsiderationsHOW do your STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES achieve appropriate balance among varying and potentially competing community needs? HOW do your STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

  • balance short- and longer-term planning horizons; and
  • consider and balance the needs of all KEY STAKEHOLDERS?


2. The Communities of Excellence Framework encourages a community perspective on strategy. In this view, the community excellence group develops and carries out its strategy as a unified whole, with various community groups, resident and other customer groups, and other people and groups aligned and collaborating.

2. Strategy development refers to your community excellence group’s approach to preparing for the future. It might involve key community leaders and groups, residents, other customers, key stakeholders, and others who will be affected by your community excellence group’s strategy.

2.1a(1). Agility refers to the capacity for rapid change in strategy and the ability to adjust your operations as opportunities or needs arise.

2.1a(2). Innovation refers to making meaningful change to improve community programs, services, processes, community effectiveness, or societal well-being, and create new value for stakeholders.

2.1a(3). Blind spots arise from incorrect, incomplete, obsolete, or biased assumptions or conclusions that cause gaps, vulnerabilities, risks, or weaknesses in your understanding of your community and the strategic challenges it faces, or in your understanding of neighboring communities and their plans. Blind spots may arise from an incomplete understanding of the diverse backgrounds and characteristics, knowledge, skills, and motivation of people, organizations, and groups within the community.

2.1a(3). Your strategic planning should address your ability to mobilize the necessary resources and knowledge to execute the strategic plan. It should also address your ability to execute contingency plans or, if circumstances require, to shift strategy and rapidly execute new or changed plans.

2.1a(4). This question asks about the internal work processes and the external resources (suppliers, partners, and collaborators) your community excellence group uses to develop and produce programs and services, and deliver them successfully to residents and other customers. These external resources complement your community excellence group’s internal work processes. Together, internal work processes and external resources make up your work systems.

2.1b(1). Strategic objectives should focus on your community’s specific challenges, advantages, and opportunities—those that are most important to the community’s ongoing success.

2.2 Strategy Implementation: How does your community excellence group implement its strategy?


(1) ACTION PLANS What are your KEY short- and longer-term ACTION PLANS? What is their relationship to your STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES? HOW do you develop your ACTION PLANS?

(2)  ACTION PLAN ImplementationHOW do you deploy your ACTION PLANS? HOW do you DEPLOY your ACTION PLANS to people, organizations, and groups involved and to KEY PARTNERS and COLLABORATORS, as appropriate, to ensure that you achieve your KEY STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES? HOW do you ensure that you can sustain the KEY outcomes of your ACTION PLANS?

(3)  Resource AllocationHOW do you ensure that financial and other resources are available to support the achievement of your ACTION PLANS? HOW do you allocate these resources to support the plans? HOW do you manage the risks associated with the plans to ensure your financial viability?

(4)  People Resource Plans What are your KEY plans for people, organizations, and groups to support your short- and longer-term STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES and ACTION PLANS? HOW do the plans address potential impacts on your people, organizations, and groups and any potential changes in CAPABILITY and CAPACITY needs?

(5)  PERFORMANCE MEASURES What KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES or INDICATORS do you use to track the achievement and effectiveness of your ACTION PLANS? HOW does your overall ACTION PLAN measurement system reinforce ALIGNMENT within the group?

(6)  PERFORMANCE PROJECTIONS For these KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES or INDICATORS, what are your PERFORMANCE PROJECTIONS for your short- and longer-term planning horizons?

b. ACTION PLAN Modification

HOW do you establish and implement modified ACTION PLANS if circumstances require a shift in plans and rapid execution of new plans?


2.2. The development and deployment of your strategy and action plans are closely linked to other items. The following are examples of key linkages:

  • Item 1.1: how your leaders set and communicate the direction of your community excellence group
  • Category 3: how you gather knowledge about residents and other customers as input to your strategy and action plans and to use in deploying action plans
  • Category 4: how you measure and analyze data and manage knowledge to support key information needs, support the development of strategy, provide an effective basis for performance measurements, and track progress on achieving strategic objectives and action plans
  • Category 5: how you meet your community excellence group’s needs for people, organizations, and groups; determine needs; and implement changes to these resources as a result of action plans
  • Category 6: how you address changes to your work processes resulting from action plans
  • Item 7.1: specific accomplishments relative to your strategy and action plans
  • Item 7.5: results for overall strategy and action plan achievement

2.2a(1). Action plans should derive from strategic objectives. These plans include those for programs and services that your community excellence group undertakes to improve health, education, the economy, and quality of life.

2.2a(2). Action plans draw on the resources and community assets available, regardless of where they are formally based. You might deploy action plans through organizations in the community and/or through community task groups that are not “owned” by any one organization.

2.2a(3). Communities may need to allocate or reallocate resources across organizations, or seek the involvement of additional groups or organizations, to ensure the success of action plans and achieve the desired outcomes.

2.2a(5). The measures or indicators you use to track the achievement of action plans relate to the results you report in category 7.

Terms in SMALL CAPS are defined in the Glossary of Key Terms