• Strategic planning
  • Mergers

Most strategic planning really sucks is ineffective.

Many plans function at the technical level like a work plan. Or they serve as a plan to make a plan: “In 2017, our organization will determine community needs and create a plan to meet them.” Most plans completely ignore a major essential — how we will actually fund the great work we’ve dreamed up?

Strategic Planning

A strategic plan is a leadership document. Leadership = meeting change and uncertainty with intention. Management = execution and monitoring of progress against the plan. The imperative to change does not pull up to the curb quietly like a Prius. Rather, it hauls up like a garbage truck outside your bedroom window at 4am.

Many organizational leaders first confront this rude awakening by repeating the comforting phrase, “All we need is…” In the “All We Need” stage, many organizations throw a lot of money and time down the drain or spin their wheels. All we need is a work plan. All we need is a new fundraiser. All we need is a new board. All we need is a board retreat. All we need is a new ED. Etc.

Scout Finch Consulting works with organizations sick and tired of being sick and tired, that are ready to move from “All We Need,” to “Let’s DO this!” Our planning processes are accelerators.

To get a stronger sense of our planning philosophy, check out our blog post entitled “Change the World in 7 Steps.”


Before we propose marriage, it is prudent first to date. Words to live by whether seeking a life companion, or pondering a potential merger. The relationship analogy holds true at every stage of the merger process:

Getting your house in order: It is important to deliberate carefully before approaching a prospecting partner. What are your values, strengths, and assets? How might connecting with a partner add more than the sum of the parts to the community? (Getting yourself together)

Getting clear what values, strengths, assets you would seek in a partner: Are you seeking a partner that complements your programming? Adds geographic scope? Allow you to scale without adding administrative capacity? What kinds of values, characteristics are you seeking in your partner? (Deciding on your ideal partner)

Exploration: If you have a prospective partner in mind, what is the best way to approach them by thinking with the end in mind? For example, starting off with a power play (as so many organizations have) is a surefire way to alienate your partner and doom your merger to fail. Choreographing these early exploratory conversations is a critical first step. (The potentially awkward effort to find a possible match and dating)

Mutual vetting: If both parties are interested, we help you walk through a process of comprehensive review of a list of merger considerations. (Going steady)

Decision: If both parties agree to merge, we help you work with your attorneys to draft formal documents and come to agreement. (Engagement)

Execution and Integration: The most difficult stage in a merger, the integration involves systematizing the plan and coaching the organizations through the process of adaptation. (Marriage, the honeymoon, and life after the honeymoon)

Considering a life partner, I mean merger? Let’s talk.