The Art of Agile Strategic Planning

Nonprofit Effectiveness Clinic #2

Friday, November 08, 08:30 AM - Friday, November 08, 2019, 11:30 AM
Friday, November 08, 2019, 08:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
2314 University Ave W, Ste 20
St PaulMinnesota
United States
Fee: $50 members / $85 nonmembers

We are living in a time of rapid change. Nonprofits are wrestling with uncertain futures and shifting landscapes. Long range, effective strategy is still critical, but traditional planning approaches that attempt to predict and control the future are utterly inadequate given the increasing complexity of social change. Traditional strategic planning approaches are often far removed from the day-to-day realities that staff experience, and planning documents sit under-utilized on the shelf. The question is, how can leaders become more responsive to change in this fast-changing reality, without becoming firefighters running from crisis to crisis?
The answer is to develop an agile approach to strategy. Agile strategic planning is about getting clear on long-term outcomes and shortening the horizon of action planning. It’s a way to be responsive so that your organization can thrive and fulfill its mission in the midst of change and uncertainty.
This interactive session will share the principles and practices of agile strategic planning-- an approach that creates feedback loops between strategy, action, and the people who are the heart of your work.
You’ll walk away with:

  • Self-assessment of existing practices and opportunities to improve
  • Quick wins and practical tools to become more agile wherever you’re at in the strategic planning process
  • Building blocks of an effective strategic plan
  • Strategies to meaningfully engage stakeholders and create feedback loops throughout strategic planning
  • A framework for designing and executing an agile and adaptive strategic plan

Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is committed to offering training sessions that support the Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence. This workshop helps us achieve the following:

PLAN 5: Organizations should actively make adjustments to plans to ensure that assumptions and activities adapt to changing organizational and environmental realities.

PLAN 15: Nonprofit organizations should continually scan the environment for external factors that may impact the success of the organization’s strategies, including changes in the political, economic, demographic, legal or competitive environments, and make necessary adjustments to respond to these changes.

About the Nonprofit Effectiveness Clinics

What’s the right regimen to improve foundational skills that are important to your nonprofit career? Is your daily routine helping you achieve higher results and produce better outcomes? Join MCN for four Nonprofit Effectiveness Clinics – and improve the fitness of key nonprofit skills. 

Register for the entire series – 4 for the price of 3.

As a nonprofit professional, you need to wear many hats and gain expertise in many skills. Various foundational skills are common across many roles and programs within nonprofit organizations. Whether you’re new to your career or just seeking a refresher, join the Nonprofit Effectiveness Clinics to learn foundational skills and theory related to the following topics:

  • NOVEMBER 1: The Art of Effective Conversations, Laura Johansson, Sondra Reis, and Marcela Sanchez
  • NOVEMBER 8: The Art of Agile Strategic Planning, Brandi Olson
  • NOVEMBER 15: The Art of Nonprofit Branding, Erin Jordan
  • NOVEMBER 22: The Art of Writing and Speaking Across Difference, Neil Chudgar

You can register for this single session in the series by clicking on the above Register Now button, or you can register for the entire series of four workshops and get 4 for the price of 3. The series is $150 for all four workshops for MCN members/$255 for all four workshops for nonmembers.

Event Details

Refreshments: Coffee, tea and a light snack will be provided.

Travel: Driving directions and transit options are available on MCN's website.

About the Presenter

Brandi OlsonBrandi Olson is the founder and principal at The Olson Group (, a collective of leaders and practitioners who build the capacity of mission-driven organizations to change the world through strategic planning, organizational design, and practical evaluation. With a Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota, Brandi combines her expertise in education and human-centered design along with 15 years of experience in organizational learning and change to partner with social sector leaders in using agile practices to solve complex social challenges with more effectiveness and less burnout every step of the way.


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