We’ve all Heard that “Definition” of Insanity:

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Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Leadership and Marketing Update from H. LEINER & CO.

Unfortunately, though, this is what many organizations’ strategic planning looks like. You craft a strategy for your nonprofit once and then try to apply that strategy to every situation you come across.


But everything moves at such a quick pace now that even last month’s records may not be a clear indication of what will happen next month.

The traditional idea of strategic planning does not work as well as it used to. Instead, adaptive strategy is the new approach that is better suited for today’s climate.

What is an adaptive strategy?


* Instead of relying on predicting the future, adaptive strategy uses experimentation, where you actually test out your ideas and quickly put your thoughts into action so you can see what works before getting too sucked into an ineffective plan.
* Instead of focusing on data collection, adaptive strategy concentrates on pattern recognition, where you analyze the easily-accessible data to see which trends are worthwhile of paying attention.
* Instead of the strategy being implemented from the top down, adaptive strategy executes strategy by the whole team, where delegation and information are sent to the bottom lines to be put into action by people involved in the strategizing.

Instead of having a rigid strategy that is set in stone regardless of the circumstances, an adaptive strategy constantly changes and develops based on the current environment and situation. It’s a continuous process of observe, orient, decide, act, and back to observe.

(Stanford Social Innovation Review)

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