How is your organization rating on accomplishing the goals in its strategic plan? Has your board of directors encountered issues that threaten goal achievement? Issues can include struggling to create greater member value, leveraging partnerships as a business growth objective, generating more sustainable revenue or confronting member factions that are resistant to change.
Issues of this significance, that cut across multiple goal or outcome areas within your strategic plan, are called “mega-issues.” Mega issues address key questions leaders must ask and answer, illuminating choices of strategy and identifying challenges which will need to be overcome in moving toward future goals.
This process involves engaging your board and other key stakeholders’ collective experience and expertise to answer four critical questions. The answers serve as a knowledge base for informed and confident group discussion:
- What do we know about our stakeholder’s needs, wants and preferences that are relevant to this decision?
- What do we know about the current realities and evolving dynamics of our environment that is relevant to this decision?
- What do we know about the strategic position and internal capacity of our organization relevant to this decision?
- What are the ethical implications of our choices? By ethical, we mean member segments, key stakeholders, partners, etc. who could be disadvantaged if the organization proceeded in a certain direction on an issue.
By answering these questions, your organization creates choices which are distinct but not exclusive. You then conduct an assessment by identifying the advantages and disadvantages — in detail — of each choice. This leads you to a consensus-driven decision.
Mega-issue discussions afford boards opportunity for strategic dialogue and deliberation about the challenges confronting an organization and its constituents.
What mega issues are you facing within your organization?