Thursday, October 13, 2011

New strategic plan lasts only 20 minutes

The Metro Community Foundation’s new five-year strategic plan was unveiled yesterday at a special ceremony at the charity’s downtown offices. Called Reaching for the Stars, the plan lasted a record 20 minutes before becoming totally irrelevant and meaningless.
Time's up!

“I want to thank all the staff, volunteers and board members who worked on this strategic plan for six months,” said Derfel Snidely, CEO of the Metro Community Foundation. “This is a great plan, and because of it this Foundation has a great future for the next 20 minutes or so until circumstances change and the plan disintegrates before our eyes like a fireball in the sky. Please stay and have some sandwiches.”

Reaching for the Stars was created after multiple rounds of consultations earlier this year. Headed up by Snidely and a committee of 12 people drawn from the entire organization, the plan was the product of 27 workshops, one plenary session, a voodoo ritual involving live chickens and a Vegetarian barbeque. In all, more than 150 people from inside and outside the organization contributed in some way to the plan, which was published in a 300-page booklet with accompanying appendixes and manuals.

The plan came up with three themes for the next five years. The first, called People First, involved 13 recommendations for improving the human capital of the Foundation. The second, called Empowering our Donors called for the Foundation to create stronger ties with its many supporters. The third theme, called Whatever, included all the other stuff nobody ever cares about like finance, administration and such.

“This is the finest strategic plan I’ve ever seen and I’m not just saying that because I’m the CEO and I led the strategic planning process,” said Snidely who later told friends that the plan was one of the dumbest he’d ever worked on and that it while it was too lame to work he’d have to put on a brave face for his staff.

Just 20 minutes after the plan was unveiled the Foundation received news that their core government funding had been cut. The Director of Finance also used the strategic plan meeting to announce that annual donations had taken a nose-dive in the past six months. The Director of Human Resources then announced that she was leaving to take up a position with another Metro charity and that before she left she’d lay off half the staff.

“That five-year plan gave me 20 minutes of hope and optimism,” said Snidely, who decided to retire 21 minutes after the unveiling of Reaching for the Stars. “We captured in this one totally over-the-top document all the dreams of our community and made them real for a very, very short period of time.”

“I wish the new CEO well in creating a new five-year plan,” he said while leaving to go play a quick round of golf. “I know that the next plan will be even better than this one.”

Staff members said despite the demise of the plan they were pleased with how things turned out. “We got free sandwiches at the meeting,” said Community Manager June Fowl.