Mike Rowlands, Founder & President of Octopus Strategies, and a plenary speaker at this year’s IoF conference, referred to new strategic planning practices his firm is pioneering based on Agile software development. Borrowing from Agile’s highly iterative and interactive development approach, the framework can be used to structure highly action oriented plans for any organization or team. Instead of developing a long-term business plan that may span over a couple of years (or in complement to the long-term plan), agile planning means working in the short-term. This approach encourages rapid adaptation to changes in the market and drives a more dynamic and effective organization—whether a for-profit business, a social enterprise or a charity.
Agile planning enables teams to make an impact and adapt fast. Whereas long-term plans can often be based on assumptions and outdated reference data, short-term plans allow for continuous learning and dynamic conversations about organizations’ work.
Collaboration, business knowhow, transparency and agility will pave the future of UK fundraising. Drawing on these approaches and new disciplines—and with a healthy dose of adaptive leadership—organizations of all stripes can work together to resolve some of the world’s most complex and entrenched problems. As Mike stated in his plenary session at the IoF conference, ‘fundraising is dead, long live fundraising’!