Differences between policy and strategic plan

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    • #1922

      Would like to enter dialogue about differences in using some of the terms. For example: policy, strategic planning, guidelines. Policies should be short and simple. It appears we are getting bogged down on a great number of “Shoulds” and “Musts” – mucho external control – often in the wording. Here is a link that may help: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Strategy-Policy-are-they-same-4174552.S.108617368

      I quote K Lambros:

      Returning to the narrower interpretation of the difference between policy and strategy, I’ve always seen business policies (plural) as being guides for action within the company. We often discuss the difference between policies and procedures:

      – A policy is a statement of intent,
      – A procedure is a statement of action to fulfil that intent.

      Example 1: Our policy is to pay all invoices within two weeks of being received. The procedure for doing so will define what is a invoice that can be paid, how it needs to be processed and the timetable for payment. It may very well be that the intended policy is frustrated by the procedure e.g. only 85% of invoices are paid within two weeks and 5% take as long as three months to be paid.

      Example 2: Our policy may be to pay the unemployed a living wage for a period of time until they secure new employment. The procedures by which we do so may be complex and cumbersome but are meant to preserve equity and fairness so that we do not creat a permanent class of unemployed living off social welfare.

      A business strategy, by contrast, applies to a whole organisational unit and typically consists of three things:
      1: What business are we in?
      2: What are our goals and objectives? and
      3: How do we intend to compete in this business?
      These are externally focussed.

      A corporate strategy, for the sake of extending the narrow definition above, refers to a multi business enterprise and asks the following questions:

      1: What is our portfolio of businesses?
      2: What is the value-added by the corporate parent? and
      3: How do we intend to grow and improve the portfolio of businesses?

      Note that each of the businesses in the portfolio must still have their own business strategy, linked to and consistent with the corporate strategy.

      From Jean: I recommend that we have an ongoing dialogue about what the words mean and to review how we do business with other organizations as ‘partners.’

      Just as an aside, I don’t see Research Committee being in charge of Ethics!

      I shall do some further research on ‘Research.’ Overwhelming to many who visit site. Shame since much work has been done and this is appreciated – we want people to want to visit the site! What do board members say about their constituents and visits to the site?


    • #1934
      Janet Morgan

      Jean, I appreciate your input and will visit the link for further information. Research is not in charge of Ethics but Research involves more complex aspects of Ethics than what has been proposed in the Ethics draft. How we incorporate them is for us to decipher and outline. Would love more input on this from you.

      Thanks, Janet

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