Author: 
Len Airey, DCA Advisory Services
Capability sign

Strategic capability is about capacity, resources and skills that will enhance and improve the long-term sustainability of an organisation. Long-term sustainability, requires people to think differently about their future - not to look at the future through the prism of the past but to get all Board members, staff and stakeholders thinking about what sort of future they want to create for the organisation.

It is helpful to ask new questions about the vision and mission of the organisation. Does the Vision Statement described the clear and inspirational long-term desired change resulting from the organisation's work? Does the Mission Statement provide a clear indication of why the organisation exists? What is the strategic intent or what are the high level over-arching goals of the organisation for each of the key operational areas like

  • governance;
  • customer focus;
  • financial sustainability;
  • marketing;
  • workforce;
  • information, communication & technology;
  • innovation and growth;
  • risk management?

These questions require a specific focus for Boards, managers and all stakeholders.

The difficulty for the community services sector in developing its strategic capability, is its history - it is a creature of the funding system. While that is acknowledged, organisations have to move beyond the past and start working on a different future for their ultimate survival. The transition from a welfare model of operation to a social business model will require the development of a customer-focused culture throughout the organisation. This means that the vision, mission, values, structure, planning, systems, leadership, culture, language, presentation, marketing, training, resources, operations etc. have to be focused on efficient and effective professional services to the customer. It will require the introduction/development of a major uplift in innovative responses to service need, leadership and business skills. The magnitude of this change should not be taken lightly.

The Organisational Development Toolkit will greatly assist organisations in identifying the areas of priority to be addressed.

Other strategic capability resources on Community Door

Organisational development modules (particularly 2, 3 and 4)

In-depth information and resources around planning and evaluation

Templates for governance and accountability policies, plan and procedures

A list of external resources around strategic capability

About Len Airey

Len is a partner with DCA Advisory Services. He has 25 years experience in the disability sector following a 24 year career in Local Government. He held the position of CEO for the Isis Shire Council; has held numerous voluntary positions in the community; held senior managerial positions in direct services to people with disabilities; and most recently, was State Manager of the Qld division of National Disability Services.

He has successfully worked across all facets of the Queensland not-for-profit sector.

Len currently consults to the Disability Sector. He holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Management – QUT; Certificate in Business Management Practices – AIM; ISO Lead Auditor qualifications; and Certificated Local Government Clerk.

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