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Strategic Doing

From Strategic Planning to Strategic Doing

The AOM Strategic Plan describes four areas of Strategic Intent and several Strategic Objectives that the Academy aims to achieve over a five year time frame (Year 1: August 2010 - August 2011; Year 5: August 2014-August 2015). Throughout this time, AOM Leaders are encouraged to participate in the process of Strategic Doing, bringing the areas of strategic intent and strategic objectives to life through member-initiated projects and initiatives .

Communicating the Strategic Plan

A website dedicated to communicating the Strategic Plan launched in 2010, and the Strategic Plan was explained through the President's message  from Jim Walsh, which was sent electronically to all members. At the 2010 Annual Meeting, AOM Leaders were invited to discuss the plan at the Leadership Forum and members were invited to learn about the plan at an open town hall meeting.  Since 2010, several initiatives  have been enacted and new ideas for projects have been encouraged through open calls to the membership for strategic doing proposals.

AOM Leaders are encouraged to inform their constituencies about the Strategic Plan and get involved in the Strategic Doing process.  Here are ways AOM Leaders can help communicate the Strategic Plan:

  • Discuss the Strategic Plan at an executive committee meeting and/or mid-year meeting.
  • Establish a link from the division or interest group's website to the Strategic Plan
  • Send an e-mail announcement to the division or interest group's members and listserv manager inviting members to visit the strategic plan website.
  • Encourage members to generate proposal ideas and get involved as a member of a Project Team
  • Establish a committee or task force to work as a Project Team that writes and submits a proposal.

Soliciting Involvement of AOM Leaders and Members

Our Strategic Doing process assumes that many Strategic Objectives will be advanced through projects initiated and carried out by Divisions, Interest Groups, Committees, and other AOM member communities.

We invite all AOM Leaders to study the Strategic Plan and generate ideas for projects that address the Strategic Objectives. The 2010 Leadership Forum was the kick-off event to solicit Academy-wide leadership involvement. Each year since, the Leadership Forum has continued to provide opportunities for conversations to begin. We ask AOM Leaders to imagine how the groups they represent can get involved, while also considering how to collaborate with Leaders of other Divisions, Interest Groups, and Committees.

Working through Project Teams and Project Champions

At the grassroots level, Strategic Doing is accomplished through the work of small, self-organizing Project Teams. Each Project Team is dedicated to completing a project that addresses one of our stated Strategic Objectives. The work of Project Teams is supported at the Board level by four Board Liaison Committees (one for each area of Strategic Intent). Each Project Team designates someone as its Project Champion, and this person serves as the point of contact for the relevant Board Liaison Committee.   

Channeling Action through Formal Proposals

As the ideas of Project Teams mature, Board Liaison Committees advise Project Teams about whether to develop a formal proposal for review and endorsement by the appropriate Board Liaison Committee. Projects that can be conducted within the normal activities of Divisions, Interest Groups and Committees can proceed without formal review and endorsement. Projects that require additional resources or support must be reviewed and endorsed in order to receive support. Examples of resources and support that might be requested include: assistance from the AOM Headquarters staff, use of the AOM logo or other forms of implied AOM endorsement to solicit support from others, requests for conference time and/or space beyond what is normally allocated to the participating constituencies, and all forms of direct financial support.

Preparing and Submitting Proposals

Project Teams are asked to thoroughly review the proposal guidelines  before submitting complete, well-formulated proposals. Each Project Team may submit one proposal only. Proposals that are not endorsed after the first review may be resubmitted if the Board Liaison Committee asks the Project Team to prepare a revised proposal. A Project Team that submits a revised proposal receives a final decision based on the revised proposal.  

Reviewing Proposals

The Board Liaison Committees receive and review proposals throughout the 5-year time frame of the Strategic Plan. We review proposals in three cycles annually. A calendar of due dates for proposal submission and feedback is provided on the Strategic Doing website.

Communicating Project Decisions. Board Liaison Committees communicate decisions to Project Teams by the date posted on the Strategic Plan website. Normally, this is no more than six to eight weeks after the posted due date. For projects that are accepted and endorsed, Project Teams receive details concerning how resources will be allocated, and the associated responsibilities of the Project Team.

Following Up

Proposals that are accepted and endorsed include metrics and a list of milestones to use in monitoring the project. HQ staff assists by creating a process for flagging milestones and check-in dates, requesting status reports from Project Teams, and forwarding status reports to the relevant Board Liaison Committees. When projects are underway, Board Liaison Committees continue to serve as points of contact for Project Teams, providing continued encouragement and advice.

As projects are completed, Board Liaison Committees ensure that Project Champions and Project Teams are formally thanked, their achievements recognized, and AOM members informed that a Strategic Objective has been achieved. HQ staff assists by developing and helping implement procedures to announce and celebrate the successful completion of all projects.  

Responsibilities of the AOM Board

This section describes a plan for managing the Board's new Strategic Doing responsibilities. It assumes that most new Board responsibilities are carried out by committees that have significant decision making authority. Only rarely does the Board as a whole discuss specific projects. The Board's work is conducted through 4 Board Liaison Committees. In addition, Officers have responsibility for broad oversight.

 Board Liaison Committees

For each area of Strategic Intent, there is one Board Liaison Committee. Each Board Liaison Committee is responsible for moving AOM forward in their area of Strategic Intent. Board Liaison Committees encourage the formation of Project Teams, provide guidance to Project Teams as they formulate proposals, review and decide whether to endorse proposals submitted for their area of Strategic Intent, provide feedback to Project Teams, and ensure continuing progress of endorsed projects.

Guidance. In the start-up phase of a Project, members of the Board Liaison Committee are available for consultation as the Project Team generates ideas and develops a proposal. Board Liaison Committees assist Project Teams by providing initial reactions to ideas, identifying potential collaborators, discussing resource needs, helping Project Teams judge what is feasible and realistic to accomplish, and redirecting Project Teams whose ideas do not require or are not appropriate for Board-level involvement (e.g., they can be carried out by Divisions, Interest Groups, Committees without Board resources and oversight).

Evaluation. Board Liaison Committees have authority to make decisions about whether to endorse proposals that are designed to achieve a specific Strategic Objective, require modest resources, involve minimal reputational risk, and comply with existing AOM policies and procedures.

Board Liaison Committees strive to make final decisions after no more than two rounds of review. When a proposal is rejected, the Project Team is disbanded.

Proposals that do not fall within the authority parameters of Board Liaison Committees are reviewed by the Strategic Coordinating Team. The Strategic Coordinating Team informs the Board Liaison Committees of its decisions in writing and provides written feedback that the Board Liaison Committees can use when communicating these decisions to Project Teams.

Feedback. Responsibility for communicating endorsement decisions and providing feedback rests with the Board Liaison Committee for all proposals. Board Liaison Committees strive to provide feedback that is timely, concise, useful, and respectful.

Follow-up. After a Board Liaison Committee endorses a proposal, it continues to provide encouragement and advice to the Project Team as their work unfolds. As a project is completed, the Board Liaison Committee works with HQ staff to ensure the Project Team's work is celebrated.

Strategic Coordinating Team

The Strategic Coordinating Team Committee evaluates project proposals that fall outside the parameters of the Board Liaison Committees, oversees the work of strategically focused task forces that it appoints, and conducts annual assessments of AOM's progress toward all Strategic Objectives.

Evaluating Proposals. The Strategic Coordinating Team focuses on proposals that address more than one area of Strategic Intent, are unusually complex, risky, large in scope, and/or require significant resources. The Strategic Coordinating Team has authority to (a) usually, make an endorsement decisions without Board discussion, (b) if necessary, put a proposal on the Board agenda for discussion, and then make a decision, or (c) rarely, put a proposal on the Board agenda and request a vote on whether or not to endorse a proposal. The Strategic Coordinating Team informs the Board Liaison Committees of its decisions in writing and provides written feedback that the Board Liaison Committees can use when communicating decisions to Project Teams.

Task Forces. Occasionally, grassroots projects may not be sufficient for achieving a Strategic Objective; instead, a Task Force may be needed. The Board Liaison Committee may determine that a Task Force is needed, and may establish a Task Force with the permission of the Strategic Coordinating Team. The Strategic Coordinating Team has authority to determine whether and when to establish a Task Force to achieve a specific Strategic Objective. If it determines that a Task Force is needed, the Strategic Planning Committee may give authority for establishing and monitoring it to the appropriate Board Coordinating Committee, or may establish the Task Force itself. When a the Strategic Coordinating Team determines that a Task Force is needed, it determines who writes the charge for the Task Force, who officially appoints members of the Task Force, and who provides oversight of the Task Force.

Annual Assessment of Progress. Once a year, the Strategic Coordinating Team prepares a brief report for presentation at the August Board meeting. The report identifies areas of success and notes areas of slow progress. Suggestions for possible adjustments to the Strategic Doing plan may also be identified.


Officers serve as ex officio members of the four Board Liaison Committees. The President serves as Chair of the Strategic Coordinating Team. In these roles, Officers' Strategic Doing responsibilities include:

  • provide oversight across all approved and endorsed projects within their assigned area of Strategic Intent
  • identify areas of synergy, duplication, and conflict among projects and alert Board members to these, as needed
  • confer with Board Liaison Committees as needed to facilitate rapid decision making and minimize the need for full board involvement on issues related to specific projects
  • serve as the contact person for HQ staff
  • determine when a Task Force is needed to achieve a specific Strategic Objective.

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