Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Leadership Retreat Update

Hungry after a long day of meeting.
This past long weekend, members of KCC's leadership (the board, Program Council, and others) met at SCOL for their annual retreat.  The practice grew out of a retreat the board held annually and expanded to three full days--Friday through Sunday--with travel days on either end.  The goals change year by year, and for 2012 we devoted the whole thing to our strategic planning process.

I can't imagine anything more boring than describing a meeting, and in coming days I'll detail the emerging questions and decision points.  But in case you have the tiniest interest, we used a technique of taking an overarching topic like "finances and fundraising" and breaking up into small groups to discuss it.  Each small group stayed together the whole time, so members developed a rapport.  After a period of discussion, we came back together to report our thoughts.  Because each group inevitably took the discussion in a different direction, the reports provided an amazing overview of the topic. 

We by no means came to agreement on every issue--but that was in itself a good thing.  Those points of divergence will be the areas we'll focus on for discussion, particularly during our forthcoming focus groups with the sangha.  Look for more on that.  In the meantime, get your thinking cap ready--the issues will be coming soon.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Leadership Fun

Smiles, blue dots on the foreheads, and Spring sunshine--things must be going well at KCC's annual leadership retreat.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Onward to Issues!

On Monday, the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) met and voted on four "issues" that will form the basis of our strategic plan.  In our lexicon, the issue is the largest category of interest--call it a domain or focal area.  Identifying issues is the grossest step in a process we will fine tune over the coming weeks--with your help.  Our issues:
The long view.
  • Programs.  While all the other issues support one another, programs really knit everything together with the mission and vision.  The programs KCC offers will create a fabric that includes those that happen at both the Portland and Goldendale sites.
  • Facilities.  The physical space where the programs happen, these must be mutually supportive of one another.
  • Financial resources.  This includes the financial plan and funding strategy.
  • Organization and staffing (including volunteers). Particularly in the SWOT, we heard many issues related to the organization and staffing.  This includes communications, the way we tie volunteerism into our practice as a center, and making sure we are able to support all our programs.
While these four issues may appear to be the definition of obvious, the committee spent a huge amount of time discussing them, expanding them, contracting them, and  deciding which were not really parts of other issues.  Should we separate SCOL and the urban center when thinking about facilities?  Should communications--clearly a critical issue--be considered separately.  Finances and funding models also have a complex of related issues.  Sometimes you have to wander a long time around a neighborhood before you wind up at the place you expected to go.

Next Up
In the strategic planning model we've adopted, the next level of fine-tuning is coming up with "goals" and "strategies" under each of these issues.  This is where we'll turn for Sangha input.  A goal is "an outcome, an overall accomplishment, a projected state, or an end point."  A strategy is an "approach, plan, or way; how we accomplish the goal."  The SPC will collect together a menu of goals and strategies that Sangha members can discuss at the Leadership Retreat later this month and in Sangha meetings.  Many of these will be mutually exclusive--we'll look at our current situation, look at the options, and make choices.

Take the issue of fundraising as an example.  (These is a total hypotheticals that the committee hasn't yet discussed, and shouldn't be considered actual goals and strategies.) We might say that it is a goal for KCC to have a stable source of funds that come from outside the structure of dues and program-generated revenue.  One strategy is to hire an Executive Director who will work half-time as a fundraiser in order to achieve a more focused, robust major donor fundraising effort.  A different strategy is to create a revenue stream out of teachings and other publications. 

There's a Sangha meeting this Sunday (March 11), when we hope to spark some discussion about these items.  The SPC meets again on Monday the 12th, and then the Leadership Retreat begins Thursday, March 22nd.  We will definitely keep you posted as we make progress on goals and strategies.

    SPC Notes for February 6th and 20th

    Below are the minutes to our February 6th and 20th meetings.

    Feb 6th:
    Meeting Notes - Feb 6, 2012

    Feb 20th:
    Meeting Notes - Feb 20, 2012