Call out to all non-profit organisations! Are you very clear about your Strategy, Tactical and Operational activities? You may need some external help to foster open and transparent conversations. Here are my definitions that help me unpack and understand these concepts.
A knowledge broker is able to bring together disparate stakeholders and facilitate a conversation that leads to a knowledge exchange and the creation of new knowledge. Alongside excellent facilitation skills, a knowledge broker needs to have a keen understanding of the difference between Strategy, Tactical and Operational.
Strategy sits at the heart of an organisation and for a non-profit organisation in Australia it is documented within its objects, vision and mission statements. This is the domain of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
Tactical is the services that you design to delivery the Strategy (objects) of your organisation. This is the domain of managers and supervisors and where evaluation is positioned.
Operational is the processes and support structures that you develop to support the Tactical(services) and Strategy (objects).
Here is a story of change in Strategy for one organisation who offered overnight accommodation through their 25-bed facility for homeless clients. The Board and Executive were concerned that although the 25-bed facility was well appreciated and used by their clients, the service did not address the clients’ broader needs. On many occasions the same clients returned many times.
As a result of wide-ranging, open and transparent conversations, the organisation updated their objects, vision and mission to reflect their newStrategy. This organisation closed the 25-bed facility and redeveloped it to be a 15-bed facility that offered services from homeless-to-homed. Clients could stay at the facility on an ongoing period where wrap around services where available to help a broad range of their needs (not just a bed for a night). This radical change in service offer meant that few clients received a service, however, those who did receive a service were able supported until they moved into alternative accommodation. For non-profit organisations where funding is always sought after, know when to change their Strategy,Tactical and Operational.