An existing non profit organization

Week 4: Strategic Planning Challenges and Improvement
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Attending to challenges and weaknesses should be seen as an opportunity to build strengths and improve performance.
—John Bryson
When initiating strategic planning, organizations often encounter challenges. Whether these challenges are outside factors that cannot be controlled or inside factors that can, organizations should utilize them as opportunities for growth. How can you, as an organizational leader, identify these potential challenges during the strategic planning process? How might you help your organization overcome these challenges and improve results?
This week, you explore challenges within the strategic planning process and consider ways to overcome them. Then, as you examine organizational need for strategic change and improvement, you reflect on the influence of organizational analyses on the strategic planning process.
Students will:
Analyze challenges within the strategic planning process
Analyze ways to overcome strategic planning challenges
Analyze organizational need for strategic change
Analyze the influence of organizational analyses on the strategic planning process
Compare organizational outcomes

Week 4 Assignment
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Individual Paper I: Strategic Change
Strategic change is a process that involves analyzing an organization’s vision, mission, goals, and strategic plans. Organizational leaders can perform this analysis using several methods, such as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and an Appreciative Inquiry analysis. Although these two analysis methods have a different approach, they both involve examining an organization’s internal and external environments. By analyzing an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges, leaders are more equipped to identify and address issues and help the organization in achieving its goals. In this Assignment, you select an organization in need of strategic change and then conduct a SWOT analysis and an Appreciative Inquiry analysis for the organization.
To complete:
Write a 6- to 8-page paper (not including title page and reference page) that addresses the following:
Describe an existing non-profit or public organization of interest to you.
Explain why the organization is in need of strategic change.
Conduct a SWOT analysis for the organization. Explain the results of the analysis and how the results might influence the strategic planning process.
Conduct an Appreciative Inquiry 4-D Cycle analysis for the organization. Explain the results of the analysis and how the results might influence the strategic planning process.
Compare organizational outcomes when using SWOT to organizational outcomes when using Appreciative Inquiry.
Use proper APA formatting and include the following:
A title page and running head
An introduction that states the purpose of the paper
Level 1 headings to define each part of the paper
A conclusion to synthesize the entire paper
A minimum of six scholarly sources to support your paper
In-text citations as appropriate
A reference list

Required Resources
Bryson, J. M. (2011). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Chapter 5, “Assessing the Environment to Identify Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Challenges” (pp. 150–184)

This chapter explains the importance of identifying organizational strengths and weaknesses through environmental assessments. It also examines this assessment process, including external and internal environmental assessments.
Chapter 6, “Identifying Strategic Issues Facing the Organization” (pp. 185–218)

This chapter provides examples of strategic issues organizations commonly face. It also offers ways to identify these issues within an organization.
Resource B, “Using the Web in the Strategic Planning Process” (pp. 428–449)

This resource examines Web-based tools that might benefit organizations. It also provides examples of their use in the strategic planning process.
Case Western Reserve University. (n.d.). AI and nonprofit/NGO: The GEM initiative. Retrieved June 14, 2014, from

This website provides links to resources for appreciative inquiry, as well as the Global Excellence in Management (GEM) initiative website.
Case Western Reserve University. (n.d.). AI in the non-profit & NGO sector. Retrieved June 14, 2014, from

This website lists links to case studies, field stories, articles, and books on appreciative inquiry.
Case Western Reserve University. (n.d.). Outstanding cases. Retrieved June 14, 2014, from

This website offers over 20 case studies on using appreciate inquiry in a variety of settings.
Cooperrider, D., Barrett, F., & Srivastva, S. (1995). Social construction and appreciative inquiry: A journey in organizational theory. In D. Hosking, H.P. Dachler, & K. Gergen, (Eds.), Management and organization: Relational alternatives to individualism (pp. 157–200). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. Retrieved from

This text excerpt examines the theory and practice of appreciative inquiry in organizations.
Whitney, D., Cooperrider, D. L. (2000). The appreciative inquiry summit: An emerging methodology for whole system positive change. Journal of the Organization Development Network, 32, 13–26. Retrieved from

This article explores a framework for the appreciative inquiry methodology. It also outlines conditions for successfully using appreciative inquiry on a large-scale. Note: To view the article, follow the link “The Appreciative Inquiry Summit Method (a pre-publication draft) (doc)” on this webpage.
Optional Resources
Kotlin, A. D. (2008). What does it take to have a successful strategic plan?! CPA Practice Management Forum, 4(1), 20–21.
Malik, S. A., Al Kahtani, N. S., & Naushad, M. (2013). Integrating AHP, SWOT and QSPM in strategic planning—An application to College Of Business Administration in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Academic Research, 5(5), 373–379.
Millett, S. M. (2006). Futuring and visioning: Complementary approaches to strategic decision making. Strategy & Leadership, 34(3), 43–50.
Yoder, E. C., Long, W. E., & Nix, D. E. (2013). Phase zero contracting operations—Strategic and integrative planning for contingency and expeditionary operations. Defense Acquisition Research Journal, 20(3), 349–372.
Lega, F., Longo, F., & Rotolo, A. (2013). Decoupling the use and meaning of strategic plans in public healthcare. BioMed Central Health Services Research, 13(5). Retrieved from