Strategic options in managing change

Thinking strategically as a management committee involves analysing the organisation's internal and external environment and being responsive to change.

Thinking strategically as a management committee involves analysing the organisation's internal and external environment and being responsive to change. Sometimes the challenges which these present will require making some difficult decisions regarding activities, services or the overall role or function of the organisation.

In these circumstances, the committee must be able to stand back and take a strategic view of the options open to them.

What are my options?

Following are examples of strategic options, which could apply to services, activities or the overall function of the organisation. Different strategies may be applied to different services according to need.

Maintain Continue services/activities as they are Reduce Costs Reduce costs for particular service/activity or in a geographical area
Retrench Reduce, divest or close services/activities or work in geographical areas Experiment Pilot services to a new client group, a new kind of service or in a new geographical area
Quantitative Expansion Increase the numbers of clients or the extent of provision Expand Boundary Of a particular client group, or the amount of service provided, or the boundary of the geographical area
Switch Strategy A radical change to switch services totally to an unrelated client group, type of service, or geographical area Piggyback Develop fee-earning services to subsidise other activities - cross subsidy of activities
Collaborate Develop a closer partnership with another agency in relation to a particular client group, service or geographical area Improve Quality Improve the quality of services or activities (maybe in a key geographical area)
New Related Strategy Switch services to a related client group, type of service, or geographical area Unrelated Expansion Expand to add services to an unrelated client group, or to an unrelated type of service, or in an unrelated area

If change is needed, it is important to think through the pros and cons of each option for change, and always keep the vision and mission of the organisation at the forefront of your considerations. The management committee must also think carefully about how they are going to manage the change process.

Useful links

ACEVO
Useful publications and good practice guidance for Management Committees and chief executives in the voluntary and community sector.

Charity Commission for England and Wales
Good practice principles in their wide range of downloadable publications can also be applied to charities in Northern Ireland. Includes guidance on closing or merging a charity.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
Provides guidance on a range of topics relevant to management committees under Trustee and Governance Information Centre.

Local training and support organisations

Role of management committees: where can I get more information?