Meeting Organizational Goals
Effective leadership unites and inspires individuals to use their knowledge, creativity, and skill to excel at meeting organizational goals. Institutional Effectiveness may be defined as the ongoing quest for quality and the demonstration of how well an institution is fulfilling its mission and realizing its vision. The institution may appreciate quality and effectiveness by employing a comprehensive system of planning and evaluation in the major aspects of the organization.
It provides documentation of planning, assessment, and the use of results in decision-making. That’s why institutional effectiveness is a leadership tool that intends to strengthen the quality of services, to produce a continuous cycle of improvement inside an organization and to monitor its effectiveness in achieving its mission and purposes. Accordingly, the institution collects and analyzes relevant data and uses this information in the institutional planning process as a basis for sustaining quality and self-improvement.
There is no one best way to assess institutional effectiveness, no certain formula described, that an institution must use for measuring or demonstrating its effectiveness, as “assessment efforts” vary among “different types of institutions” and “among institutions of the same type” (NEASC Policy Statement on Institutional Effectiveness, 1992). Successful assessment efforts depends on the institution’s mission and its available resources.
Every institution should have an Effectiveness Office having the task to coordinate and support evaluation activities and being involved with the development and implementation of a broad-based system consisting of integrated institutional effectiveness activities: coordinating the on-going strategic planning process – including the “establishment of priorities and implementation of action plans”, monitoring the “development and progress of the strategic plan”, “overseeing the generation of data, and reports for institutional research purposes” to improve planning and decision-making, to review and provide feedback on assessment plans and reports, overseeing the coordination and conducting of organization assessments and program reviews in ways that will “continuously improve the quality of services”. (Office of Institutional Planning, Research and Evaluation, New York).
All these activities are undertaken for the purpose of continuous program improvement and to insure institutional effectiveness. The strategic plan, which is another leadership tool, can be defined as an “answer to the question: How will the organization accomplish its goals? ” (MAP for Nonprofits, St. Paul, MN)
Strategic planning involves environmental scanning for external trends. It includes a variety of internal and external assessment activities, like: annual review of institutional vision and mission statements, review of the implementation report on the prior year’s operational plan and of other internal effectiveness indicators, assessment of progress in addressing recommendations resulting from strategic planning activities during previous years. The purpose of strategic planning is encouraging thinking about organization’s broad goals and priorities, and how well they are being achieved. The modern approach emphasizes “strategic thinking” or “strategic management”.
It regularly scans the organization’s external environment for significant changes, trying to understand the implications of these for programs, organization structures, staffing, etc. It is known that board policies or program priorities might change because of the planning process, but usually there is no slavish adherence to a plan, the document existing only as a guideline and changing as the world changes. Some of them though are never implemented, proving to be useless, because organizations are always faced with fast changing and difficult to predict environments. Some say that inside an institution there could be no official strategic plan document, as in this complex and rapidly changing world there should only be the process of “thinking strategically”.