Habitat for Humanity Texas Organization’s Strategic Plan

Strategy Change Cycle

Importance of the Hiring Strategic Planning Consultant

Habitat for Humanity Texas is a non-profit making organization that seeks to work with various stakeholders within this country to provide homes for the financially challenged people living in Texas. Besides organizing for loans, this organization also offers full sponsorship to those who are completely unable to service home loans. This means that Habitat for Humanity Texas needs an efficient way of coordinating with various stakeholders to get financial support.

The organization currently depends on volunteer labor, donations of materials, and money from the good wishers. Given the fact that it does not engage in any other commercial activities that may earn it extra income to support its activities, it must find a way of maintaining a pool of sponsors who share its vision, mission, and values. The status of affairs at this organization shows that there is a serious problem that needs urgent attention to protect this firm from an imminent fall.

The recent report from the office of the director shows that there is a drop-in donation over the last ten years. The monetary and other material support that this firm has been receiving from the good wishers has been reducing consistently over the last ten years for reasons that the management is not aware of, hence cannot adequately solve. Managing this organization is increasingly becoming a complex task as the budget is getting strained while the needs are increasing.

With this trend, Habitat for Humanity Texas may not be able to finance its operations. It is because of this serious problem that makes it necessary to hire a consultant to help identify the existing problems and propose tangible solutions that will help transform the current unfortunate affairs at this organization.

It is clear from the report from the director of this organization that the management has failed to understand the changing environmental dynamics. Ten years ago, the vision, mission, values of Habitat for Humanity Texas made sense to many people. The vision reflected what was in the heart of many, and for this reason, many sponsors were ready to support it. They believed that the focus of this organization was a true reflection of what they wanted society to be in Texas. As time went by, the world was changing due to various changes within the environment, especially the changes brought about by emerging technologies.

However, the management failed to understand the direction taken by the changing environmental factors. It maintained its missions and strategies hoping that it would remain effective. On the other hand, the sponsors and other stakeholders were yielding to the changing environmental forces. They were discovering new ways of addressing various issues, some of which contradicted the strategies used by this organization.

This meant that the vision and mission of this firm started to be divergent from that of its sponsors. This started creating a difference in belief between these important factors. Slowly and consistently, the sponsors failed to understand how this organization would lead to the real change that they desired within this society. This explains the sharp drop in donations at a time they are expected to increase. To change this trend, there is a need to hire a consultant who understands how the problem can be addressed.

Strategic planning is the best solution that this firm needs to address the current problems in this organization. Bryson (2010) says, “Strategic planning has become widespread practice for many reasons, but the chief one is the evidence that strategic planning typically works, and often works extremely well” (p. 2). This scholar says that many firms fail because they lack effective strategic planning to guide the activities done at every stage. The management of this firm appreciates that the current community efforts lack identifiable strategies and plan on how to reach out to the donors. This is a serious weakness that limits sources of income for this organization. The consultant will address these problems based on current management practices.

Change Strategy Cycle

To address the challenges that this organization faces as identified in the section above, it is important to use the change strategy cycle. Bryson, (2011, p. 22) defines the change strategy cycle as a “Cyclical strategic change process in 10 steps.” These are specific steps that should be followed to ensure that the new strategy formulated does not only fit the internal structures within the system, but also external forces that affect the organization in one way or the other. Habitat for Humanity Texas is overhauling the current strategies and plans to come up with more dynamic plans that reflect the current environmental factors. It will need to follow these steps to reinvent itself and appeal to the stakeholders who may support it financially or morally.

Initiation and agreement on a strategic planning process

The first stage in this cycle is to initiate and agree upon a planning process that is acceptable to both the internal and external stakeholders. The management will need to formulate policies and conducting research on the internal and external environmental forces. All the stakeholders should be invited to participate in the process to ensure that the policies are acceptable to all. This will promote public participation and attract more sponsors.

Identification of organizational mandate

According to Norrris-Tirrell (2000), it is unfortunate that most organizations operate without a clear mandate that guides their actions. This would lead to a situation where the activities of the organization fail to meet the set targets. Habitat for Humanity Texas should clearly define its mandate to understand it must or must not do to meet the expectations of all the stakeholders. Going beyond the mandate will overstretch the existing resources without adding extra value to the firm. Failing to achieve the mandate may lead to serious dissatisfaction by the stakeholders of this firm, especially the sponsors who play an important role to ensure that this organization is operational.

Clarification of the mission and values of the organization

It is one thing to develop an effective mission and values of the organization, and it is another to ensure that it is communicated effectively to the stakeholders so that they can believe in them. An organization can only be successful if its mission and values are clearly understood and cherished by the stakeholders. This is very important for nonprofit making organizations that rely on the help of the sponsors to sustain their operations. Any unclear issues should be effectively addressed to ensure that both the internal and external stakeholders believe in the mission and values of the firm. The mission and values should be changed from time to time to reflect some of the changes taking place in society.

Organization’s SWOT analysis

A proper plan can only be developed in the planning team has substantial knowledge about the internal and external environmental factors. Using the SWOT model, the team should conduct an internal audit to determine the strength and weaknesses, and external analysis to determine the opportunities and threats of the organization. When conducting an environmental audit, the focus should be on determining how the firm can use its strengths to capitalize on the market opportunities, neutralize its weaknesses, and eliminate or manage threats. This will help in streamlining internal environmental factors to be in line with the external environmental forces.

Identification of strategic issues that the organization faces

Bryson, (2011, p. 32) defines strategic issues as “Fundamental policy questions or critical challenges that affect an organization’s mandates, mission, values, production approaches, financing, or management system.” These issues must be identified to devise the best plan on how to manage them. Habitat for Humanity Texas will need this information to clearly understand why some sponsors have withdrawn their support, and how the trend can be reversed. Some of the issues that were identified based on the report from the director organization include poor community management strategies, poor approaches to reaching out to the donors, and inability to review the vision and mission to reflect the dynamism in the environment.

Formulation of strategies to manage the issues

After identifying the strategic issues, the next step will be to formulate strategies that can be used to manage them. As Bryson (2011) says, it is important to ensure that the strategies formulated are realistic and agreeable to all the stakeholders in the organization. The strategies should be based on the financial capacity of the firm, the number of clients to be served, and time constraints. This will help eliminate cases of dissatisfaction arising from the inability of the firm to fulfill its promises because of financial constraints.

Reviewing and adopting the strategic plan

When the strategies have been formulated based on the constraints discussed above, the next step should be to review and adopt the plan to address the strategic issues that were identified. At this stage, the focus will be to determine if the strategic plan can work under the current internal and external environmental forces. It is also at this stage that the planning team may suggest changes in the internal structure of the organization that may need to be overhauled to ensure that the new strategy works. This may even involve restructuring other departments, especially human resources.

Establishing an effective vision

With a clear strategic plan, the planning committee can now establish an effective vision that will offer direction about the path that Habitat for Humanity Texas will take in its operational activities. The vision should reflect the values of the organization and the overall objective that the firm wishes to achieve after a specific period. As Crompton (2011) says, the vision should be simple to understand, and it should be communicated to all the stakeholders so that they may believe in it and support the firm in realizing it.

Developing an effective process of implementation

When the strategic plan and vision for the firm are spelled out, the next important process is the implementation. According to Norrris-Tirrell (2000), a good plan that is not properly implemented may not be of any importance to an organization.

The management unit of this firm, and all other relevant stakeholders, must determine the best approach that can be taken to ensure that the strategies are implemented by the right people, and the right time, and in the right manner. All the relevant stakeholders should understand their roles, and how they should relate with others to ensure that the organization achieves overall success. The process adopted should be acceptable to all the important stakeholders to avoid possible resistance from the people who are expected to support the process.

Reassessing strategies and strategic plans

The final stage in this cycle is the process of reassessing the strategies and strategic plan to ensure that they can meet the set objectives. In the process of reassessing the strategies, of interest should be to determine how the internal and external stakeholders will accept the process and the possible repercussions that may be felt in case they reject it. For example, the strategic plan the seeks to restructure the workforce by eliminating employees whose tasks are declared redundant may be an acceptable move to the sponsors, but may vehemently be rejected by the employees. In such delicate situations, it is always important to come up with a compromise that is effective and acceptable to all parties.

Other Additional Information to Be Covered in the Strategic Plan

As a consultant, I have identified other issues that I would be interested in focusing on if I were to be hired for additional work. According to Mittenthal (2002), many organizations have failed because the management failed to appreciate the importance of junior employees in coming up with strategies based on practical experience in the field. These junior employees are always in the field undertaking various tasks as stipulated in the plan. They understand the challenges that exist in the field when a firm is trying to implement specific policies. They should be allowed to share these facts with the management to inform the decision that is made regarding the implementation policies. This strategy is lacking at this firm, and it explains why it has been unable to attract more donors.

Another issue that may need addressing is the leadership strategies that are used by the management of this firm. According to Bryson (2011), public and nonprofit making organizations require effective leadership skills that bring together all the stakeholders in an environment that promotes teamwork. The donors, government agencies, other nonprofit making organizations, and the employees of this firm should work as a team to ensure that the overall success is achieved.

It is the leadership that is expected to create such an enabling environment. Making these stakeholders work as a team promotes interaction, and creates an environment where issues can be addressed as soon as they arise because everyone is informed. For instance, when the cost of materials shots because of inflation or any other valid issue, the sponsors will be aware of it, and they will find it easy to increase their funding because they are directly involved in the implementation process.

VMOSA Strategic Plan

The office of the director made it clear that the existing strategies that Habitat for Humanity Texas is using are not effective enough in addressing the current strategic issues identified in the section above. The report shows that this firm has experienced a 10% decrease in its donations at a time that it was expecting the donation to increase. This is a clear demonstration that something is wrong with the existing systems.

To address this problem, it may be necessary to overhaul the existing system and replace it with an effective plan based on the guidelines given in the section above. The organization needs to employ a new VMOSA strategic plan to salvage itself from a possible fall. As Crompton (2011) says, “VMOSA simply means Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Action Plans of an organization” (p. 78). This is the focus of the third section of this report.

Vision Statement for Habitat for Humanity

Vision is a very important component of the strategic plan of an organization that defines where it should be if all the set goals were to be achieved within the specified time. Crompton (2011) says, “Your vision communicates what your organization believes are, the ideal conditions for your community, and how things would look if the issue important to you were perfectly addressed” (p. 32). It is the dream that the top management and other decision making organs have of an organization. It is the force that drives the entire team with the promise of the good things that are to be achieved if this ideal condition is achieved.

This means that Habitat for Humanity Texas needs a vision that will create a desire among all the stakeholders to push for its agenda to achieve overall success. Developing a vision statement makes it possible for the community to understand the governing principles of the organization and the benefits that shall be achieved in case the vision is realized. Mittenthal (2002) observes that there are some characteristics of a good vision statement that should be considered during this process.

The vision should be clearly understood and cherished by all community members. It should be broad to encompass various local perspectives within the organization. The third factor that should be observed when developing the vision statement is that it should be uplifting and inspiring to all the stakeholders who are making an effort directly or indirectly to ensure that success is achieved. Finally, the vision statement should be relatively short and easy to communicate with the public. Based on these facts, the following vision statement would be appropriate for this firm.

Houses for all through communal effort

The above vision statement is simple but very comprehensive. It observes the conditions set above and summarizes the mandate and the dream of this organization. As stated in this statement, the ultimate aim of Habitat for Humanity Texas is to ensure that everyone has a house to eliminate cases of homelessness within this state. It appreciates that to achieve this aim, there must be an effort made by the relevant stakeholders. It is not a system where people get donations. The beneficiaries and other stakeholders need to make efforts to ensure that the process is successful. The vision statement also appreciates that this is a communal process. This means that the donors are welcome to participate in other implementation processes other than just giving material support to the organization.

Mission statement

After developing an effective mission statement, the next step would be to define the mission statement. Bryson (2011) says that while the vision statement defines the dream of the organization, the mission statement what will be done and why they are done. They are action-oriented statements that reflect how a given problem will be addressed or how a given objective will be achieved to ensure the set vision of the firm is realized.

The mission statement will explain to the stakeholders what they need to do to ensure that the firm achieves its dream within a specific period. Just like the vision statement, some specific factors should be considered when developing a mission statement. One of the main factors that should be maintained in a mission statement is conciseness. Since the statement may be short, it should be succinct and self-explanatory. Another important factor is that the mission statement should be outcome-oriented. In many cases, stakeholders may be interested in understanding the possible outcomes of the effort they are putting in a given program.

The mission statement should clearly explain this as a way of enhancing an understanding of the vision of the firm. The third factor is that the mission statement should be inclusive. According to Mittenthal (2002), public and nonprofit making organizations have a wide range of stakeholders that may be interested in playing one role or the other. There may also be a series of strategies that can be applied to ensure that success is achieved.

For these reasons, it is important to avoid regard to mission statements. The statement should be as inclusive as possible to ensure that even in the future other stakeholders can easily join Habitat for Humanity Texas without feeling that they are not part of the organization. The mission statement should also be flexible enough to embrace new strategies that may arise due to the changes within the external environment. Based on the above factors, it is clear that the current mission statement for this firm needs to be overhauled to have a more concise, action-oriented, and inclusive statement. The following mission statement would be appropriate for this organization.

To work with all stakeholders to build homes and hope for the needy population in Texas

Some fundamental factors are observed in this mission statement. From this statement, it is clear that Habitat for Humanity Texas will involve all the stakeholders who are willing to be part of its programs to help in building homes which is the overall aim of the firm. The statement also shows that building homes will build hope among the society members and this will help in improving their effort. With the hope of a better future, many people within this state will be willing to be part of the program. Finally, this statement observes that the program will target the needy population in Texas. This means that it is morally wrong for those who are financially able to seek help from this organization because this limits the ability of the firm to serve the more deserving target group.

A community objective

The management team of this organization will need objectives that should define how the mission is to be achieved within a specific period. In many cases, organizations would redefine the mission statement into specific tasks, and for each task, there would be specific objectives that should be achieved so that a given group can benefit. As Bryson (2011) says, while profit-making organizations’ overall objective is to expand their market share and increase their profitability, public and nonprofit making organizations always seek to achieve the satisfaction of a section of the society that may be affected in one way or the other by various environmental issues.

At this stage, the consultant will develop one community objective that will need to be achieved to consider this process a success. Mittenthal (2002) warns that when developing an objective, it is necessary to ensure that it is SMART+C. The following is the community objective that this firm should work with based on the factors mentioned above.

To increase the number of decent and affordable houses for families in Texas to reduce the problem of homelessness by ten percent within the next year

This objective is based on the mission of the firm that seeks to build more homes and hope for the needy people in Texas. In this communal objective, the focus is to increase the number of decent and affordable housing units for families in Texas through the provision of cheap loans and encouraging teamwork to help in coordinating the construction process. This objective is specifically focusing on the families in Texas which is within the mandate of this organization.

It is measurable because it talks about the number of housing units that can be counted. Building decent and affordable housing units is an achievable objective if the right resources are obtained. It is realistic because it sets the percentage that can be easily achieved if all the stakeholders work as a team towards a common goal. The objective is time-bound. The objective should be achieved within the next year.

A process objective

According to Bryson (2011), developing a process objective may be important, especially to the policymakers and the implementers of the policies. To the policymakers, the process objective helps in costing and planning for other resources that will be used. To the policy implementers, process objectives help to define the work at hand, what they will need to achieve the objective, and how they can plan themselves to achieve an overall objective in the firm. The following is the process objective set for Habitat for Humanity Texas.

To increase the number of families owning home in Texas by 35% by the end of the year 2016

The objective is specific in that it seeks to increase the number of families owning homes in Texas. It is measurable and achievable because the target has been set at 35%. It is also realistic because the past performance of the organization has demonstrated that this is an achievable target. The objective also has a specific time within which it should be achieved. It is expected that by the end of the year 2016, this objective should be achieved.

Strategies for the objectives

After setting objectives, it is important to find effective strategies that can be used to achieve them. Having ambitious objectives without clear strategies on how they should be realized may not mean much to the firm because it will remain a document on a piece of paper. According to the California State Department of Finance (1998), “Generally, organizations will have a wide variety of strategies that include people from all of the different parts, or sectors, of the community.” This scholar says that sometimes the best strategy may be broad to accommodate various issues, or very specific to address defined areas. In this section, the consultant will look at the strategies that can be used to achieve the two objectives discussed in the section above.

Strategies for community objective

The first objective that was set in this report was for the community. The following was the community objective:

To increase the number of decent and affordable houses for families in Texas to reduce the problem of homelessness by ten percent within the next year

For this objective, the consultant will develop two strategies that will help explain how the objectives will be achieved. As mentioned previously, the strategy developed must be acceptable to the stakeholders. It must also be based on the financial capacity of the organization, the availability of the available workforce, and other constraints relevant to this firm. The following are the possible strategies that can be used.

  1. Reach out directly to the targeted population and inform them about the programs of the firm and how it can help them own houses without straining them financially
  2. Engage the local communities actively to play a role as donors and volunteer workers in this program of constructing houses

The above two strategies specifically address the issue of how to increase the number of decent and affordable houses for families in Texas as a way of reducing the problem of homelessness by ten percent within the next one year. The first strategy that has been proposed is to reach out directly to the targeted population with the relevant information. This strategy was informed by the fact that many of the targeted people are not aware of this program.

Some of them cannot take mortgages offered by the financial institutions in this country because of the high interest they charge and the complex processes that have to be followed to qualify for the loans. This strategy seeks to inform them that if they partner with this organization, they can get cheap loans at friendly prices so that they can get homes without financial strain. They will also be informed that there is a team of volunteer workers in this organization that reducing the cost of labor when one is building a house. This way, more people will be convinced to sign up for the programs. This will directly increase the number of houses that will be built within the next year. The strategy will, therefore, play a role in reducing the problem of homelessness in Texas by 10%.

The second strategy focuses on how to reach out to the donors and volunteer workers who will be expected to support this program. To achieve this communal objective, it is important to ensure that there are donors who are willing to give financial support and members of the community who can offer to work as volunteers to reduce the cost of construction. Through this strategy, it will be possible to cut down the cost of constructing houses for the people who are selected to be part of the program. The ultimate aim of using this strategy is to make homeownership an affordable process for the target population. This will help in realizing the set objective.

Strategies for process objective

The consultant also developed a process objective that should be achieved by the end of the year 2016. It was confirmed that this objective meets the SMART+C criteria. Below is the objective that is to be achieved within this period.

To increase the number of families owning home in Texas by 35% by the end of the year 2016

There must be an effective strategy that can be used to make this strategy a reality. Achieving this objective may be challenging, especially based on the recent reports from the firm which showed that the donations have drastically reduced over the recent past. It is important to come up with strategies that can be used to make the process a reality. The following are the two possible strategies that can be used at this stage.

  1. Provide financial literacy to the target population
  2. Work with other like-minded institutions, including the government and financial institutions

To achieve the above ambitious objective, it is important to have an effective strategy that can be used by this organization. As shown above, the first strategy is to provide financial literacy among the target population. Some people do not own houses because they lack the relevant knowledge. Through this program, they will know what they can do to get cheap loans either from this institution or other institutions so that the percentage of homeowners can be on the rise.

The second strategy proposes a collaborative strategy where the organization will make an effort to work together will all other institutions that are working toward achieving the same goal. This includes the government that is trying to provide homes for its citizens and financial institutions that are willing to give soft loans to prospective home owners. This collaborative approach will help to maximize the effort towards achieving success.

Action steps for each strategy

After defining the strategies that are to be used, the final stage that is very sensitive is to determine the action steps for each strategy so that the responsible stakeholders may know what they are supposed to do. The step-by-step procedure makes it easy for the members of the organization to implement the policies without straining. The following tables are the action steps that should be followed for all the four strategies proposed above.

Action steps for strategy 1a

Action step People responsible Date of completion Resources needed Potential barriers Collaborators
  • Understand the needs of the locals
The management unit October 30, 2014 $ 4500 to support the research. Some people may consider hiding vital information needed in the decision-making process The national and state governments
  • Prepare a relevant message
The PR team November 10, 2014 Time and human resources None anticipated Volunteer workers
  • Select the medium
The PR team November 15, 2014 Time and human resources None anticipated The volunteer workers
  • Reach out to the target population
All members of the organization February 10, 2015 $ 9500
Time and human resources
Poor communication skills by some members, possible resistance from the targeted population The donors, government agencies, volunteers, and other relevant institutions

Action steps for strategy 1b

Action step People responsible Date of completion Resources needed Potential barriers Collaborators
  • Develop a community engagement plan
The management unit of Habitat for Humanity Texas February 10, 2015 Time and human resources Possible resistance from some stakeholders The volunteers
  • Share the plan with the relevant stakeholders
The management unit of the organization February 16, 2015 Time Conflicting ideas on the most appropriate approach The volunteers
  • Reevaluate the plan to confirm its effectiveness
The planning committee March 5, 2015 Time and human resources None anticipated The volunteers
  • Roll out the plan
Members of the organization led by the management unit April 1, 2015 $ 6000 to support the activities, time, and human resources Conflicting ideas about implementation strategies that are appropriate Donors, government agencies, and volunteers

Action steps for strategy 2a

Action step People responsible Date of completion Resources needed Potential barriers Collaborators
  • Determine the knowledge gap
The planning team October 30, 2014 $ 4500 to support the research, time, and human resource Difficulty in getting the relevant information Volunteer research assistants
  • Develop a syllabus based on the gap
The planning team and other external experts December 8, 2014 $ 3800 to support the process, time, and financial resources Difficulty in developing a relevant syllabus, especially in cases where inaccurate data was collected from the field Professional syllabus developers, especially from government institutions such as public colleges
  • Select the right team
The management unit January 18, 2015 Time and human resources None anticipated Donors, government agencies, and other stakeholders
  • Conduct a financial literacy program
All the stakeholders June 24, 2015 $ 8700 to support the operations, time, and human resources The reluctance of the target group to effectively participate in the program Donors, government agencies, and other stakeholders

Action steps for strategy 2b

Action step People responsible Date of completion Resources needed Potential barriers Collaborators
  • Identify the relevant institutions to be involved in the programs
The management unit January 5, 2015 Time and financial resources None anticipated The volunteers
  • Make direct contact with the targeted institutions
The top management unit February 6, 2015 $ 2000 to support the process, time, and financial resources Possible rejection by the desirable institutions for various reasons The donors and volunteers
  • Determine if the targeted institutions have similar programs and develop a working plan
The planning committee February 25, 2015 $ 4000 to support the research, time, and human resources Difficulty in accessing the relevant information, especially in cases where the institutions decide to hide some relevant information The donors, government agencies, the participating institutions, and volunteers
  • Implement the working plan that that will bring all the stakeholders together
All the members of the organization June 29, 2015 $ 9600 to support the process, time, and human resources Conflicting ideas Government agencies, donors, and volunteers

References

Bryson, J. (2010). The Future of Public and Nonprofit Strategic Planning in the United States. Public Administration Review, 12(1), S255-S263.

Bryson, J. M. (2011). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint.

California State Department of Finance. (1998). Strategic Planning. California State Department Of Finance.

Crompton, L. (2011). Strategic Planning: Understanding the Process. Washington: Board Source.

Mittenthal, R. (2002). Ten Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders. New York: TCC Group.

Norrris-Tirrell, D. (2000). Nonprofit Management Case Collection: Salvation Or Soothsaying, Strategic Planning At Youth Haven, Inc. San Francisco: University of San Francisco.