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Another Choice, Another Chance Analytical Essay

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Updated: Jun 25th, 2019

Introduction

Another Choice, Another Chance (ACAC) is a non-profit organisation that helps young people overcome drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Since 1994, the organisation has operated a treatment facility at Sacramento, California (ACDC, 2012, p. 1).

Since its inception, ACAC has helped thousands of youths overcome drug addiction. The main profile of clients who get help at the organisation is young people aged 12-17 years and young adults aged 18-24 years. Besides being involved in alcohol and drugs, most of these clients also suffer from mental health disorders.

Some of them have also experienced juvenile detention, while others have been involved in gangs, or expelled from the mainstream education system (ACDC, 2012, p. 1).

Organisational Mandate

ACAC’s mandate closely complements the organisation’s mission, which aims to reduce the prevalence of drugs and substance abuse. The organisation’s mandate therefore centres on providing alcohol and drug treatment, mental health counselling, dual diagnosis treatment, anger management, gang diversion services, alcohol and drug prevention (ACDC, 2012).

The implication of these mandates on ACAC’s strategic direction centres on defining the organisation’s position as a key pillar of community growth.

This way, ACAC plays a pivotal role in helping the youth overcome social ills that hinder their growth (and by extension, the community’s growth). In this regard, ACAC’s mandate provides a strategic focus on community development.

Mission and Values

ACAC’s mission is to reduce the prevalence of drug and substance abuse among the youth. The organisation also strives to reduce the prevalence of mental health disorders among the youth and help curb the behavioural health problems that arise from them. This way, ACAC aims to improve the lives of the affected youths and their families.

Lastly, six pillars define ACAC’s organisational values. They include transparency, commonality, respect, caring, credibility, and reliability. These values not only aim to establish good trust between the organisation and its clients, but also establish the same trust with all the stakeholders involved (ACDC, 2012).

Stakeholder Analysis

ACAC’s main stakeholders include the youth (clients), donors, staff (employees), and the community. Each stakeholder has an important role to play in the operations of the organisation. The youths are the main beneficiary of the organisation’s activities.

In other words, they are the subject of the organisation’s activities because all organisational strategies aim to improve the lives of the youth (especially those who struggle with substance abuse).

The donors also have an important role to play in the operations of the company because they finance the organisation’s activities. Without their support, ACAC would experience a lot of difficult sustaining its operations (ACAC, 2012).

The employees are also pivotal to the organisation’s success because they implement the organisation’s strategy. Some of them dedicate their free time to work for the organisation without any pay. Others devote a lot of their time to ensure the organisation works smoothly.

Finally, the community is also a main stakeholder to ACAC’s operations because it not only supports the organisation’s activities by providing the right environment for rehabilitation, but also benefits from the organisation by receiving rehabilitated youth in the community.

Their acceptance of rehabilitated youth forms a critical part of ACAC’s operation because if the community does not accept the youth back into mainstream society, it would be fruitless trying to rehabilitate them in the first place. Every stakeholder therefore has an important role to play in the Organisation’s operations.

Soliciting and maintaining stakeholder support is a crucial component for sustaining ACAC’s operations. One way that ACAC can solicit stakeholder support is by adopting an operational culture that responds to the needs and expectations of its stakeholders (Bryson, 2011).

This way, the organisation may generate support and sufficient goodwill from the stakeholders to support the organisation’s operation.

For example, ACAC may request the involvement of all stakeholders in the organisation’s decision-making process so that the processes of formulating important decisions demonstrate a comprehensive input of all stakeholders.

By excluding some stakeholders in the organisation’s decision-making process, some stakeholders may treat the organisation with suspicion and mistrust.

ACAC should also maintain stakeholder support by providing an open communication channel with all its stakeholders. This way, the organisation and the stakeholders may exchange ideas and opinions regarding the organisation’s operation.

Such open communication channels may equally solve any issues and concerns that the stakeholders may have. By being sensitive to stakeholder concerns, ACAC may also maintain stakeholder support.

This way, the stakeholders may feel represented and important to the company (Bryson, 2011). Comprehensively, ACAC should treat all stakeholders as important partners in the organisation.

Analysis of Internal and External Environments (SWOT Analysis)

Strengths

Community Goodwill: ACAC enjoys immense community goodwill from different partners in the society. So far, the government, private companies, and philanthropists have shown immense support for the Organisation.

For example, the Drug and Enforcement Agency (DEA) gave an award to the ACAC’s founder, Dr. Vanessa Lindsey for her contribution to the reduction of drug use among the youth (ACDC, 2012, p. 2).

The same goodwill replicates in many other partners, thereby enabling the organisation to receive immense support for its activities.

Diversity: ACAC’s success partly stems from the diversity it enjoys in implementing its mandate. According to the organisation’s website, its client population consists of 31% white, 27% African-American, 22% Hispanic, 13% Asian, and 7% other racial groups (ACDC, 2012, p. 2). Through this diversity, people perceive the organisation’s operation to be representative and accommodating of all people.

Experienced Staff: ACAC has been operational for more than 16 years. Throughout this time, the organisation has developed a diverse pool of experienced employees. These employees have contributed immensely to the organisation’s success by developing the best strategies for propelling the organisation.

Weaknesses

Limited Outreach: ACAC’s operations mainly focus on one geographic location, Sacramento, California. However, its mandate aims to reduce drug abuse prevalence not only within this geographic location, but also in other geographic regions. ACAC lacks this geographic outreach and can therefore only reach a few people.

This limited outreach undermines the organisation’s mandate.

Limited Finances: Limited finances undermine the efficiency of ACAC because most of its operations require significant financial investments.

However, the organisation does not have enough finances to implement most of its initiatives and sustain its programs. More so, the company is a non-profit entity and therefore relies on well-wishers (a lot) to sustain its operations (ACAC, 2012).

Insufficient Housing: ACAC thrives on providing an appropriate environment for the rehabilitation of drug addicts and mental patients. This mandate therefore requires the organisation to provide sufficient housing to accommodate everybody who seeks its services.

However, the organisation does not have enough housing to accommodate everybody who seeks its services. In fact, most of the organisation’s housing facilities are located within the Sacramento area. Patients who do not find accommodation here have to enrol for day shelters (ACAC, 2012). Day shelters undermine the efficiency of the organisation’s operations.

Opportunities

Expanding Outreach: Expanding ACAC’s outreach is a viable opportunity for cementing the organisation’s mandate. The organisation can therefore expand its operations beyond California and possibly venture into new states.

Seeking new partners: Seeking new development partners form a crucial part of ACAC’s growth strategy because new partners may support the organisation (financially or otherwise).

So far, ACAC enjoys immense support from crucial partners like Sacramento City Unified School District, Elk Grove Unified School District, and Sacramento County Office of Education (ACAC, 2012). There are more opportunities for receiving additional organisational support by seeking new partners.

Collaboration: Since ACAC’s strategy centres on community development, there is immense potential in collaborating with other community organisations to foster its goals.

Some organisations that ACAC may collaborate with include health care facilities and other non-profit organisations (especially those that work to reduce alcohol prevalence among the youth).

Threats

Early Drug Use Among teenagers: Studies show that early drug use in a teenager’s life increases the probability of such a teenager to engage in hard drugs, later in life (ACAC, 2012). National statistics on drug use say teenagers today use drugs at a very young age (compared to the past).

The early drug use among teenagers poses a threat to the activities of ACAC because it undermines its goal of reducing the prevalence of drug abuse in the society.

Rising Operational Costs: the rising costs of goods and services pose a threat to the activities of ACAC because the organisation relies on well-wishers to fulfil its mandate. The rising cost of goods and services make it more unsustainable to provide free services.

Insufficient financial resources: like many other non-profit organisations, ACAC, continues to grapple with the problem of insufficient financial resources. If the organisation fails to find adequate financial resources to support its operations, it may eventually fail to pay its employees and offer its services to its clients.

Summary

From the SWOT Analysis above, the importance of ACAC to find sustainable financial sources and reliable partners, manifest. These needs prove to be the most important pillars informing the organisation’s strategy.

The strategic planning process therefore needs to pay close attention to ensure the organisation finds reliable partners for funding and supporting the organisation.

Strategic Issues

The main strategic issues for ACAC includes exploring how to integrate organisational resources to plan and manage community growth, how to develop a more streamlined process for achieving organisational goals (with few financial resources), and how to expand ACAC’s community outreach.

The process of reviewing the company’s SWOT analysis and identifying which issues are the most critical for the company identified these issues. The strategic issues identified above are important for ACAC because they outline opportunities for growth and eliminate the main challenges characterising the company’s operations.

Strategies to Address the Issues

Integrating Organisational Resources to Plan and Manage Community Growth

ACAC may integrate its organisational resources to plan and manage its operations by assessing the resource availability of the organisation, first. This process occurs by developing protocols for resource allocation so that the organisation allocates its resources in an impartial and equitable manner (Bryson, 2011).

Developing a Streamlined Process for Achieving Organisational Goals with Few Financial Resources

A streamlined process for achieving organisational goals develops from the introduction of a technology platform that encompasses all organisational operations. Through the benefits of adopting technology (such as, positive cost-benefit evaluations), ACAC may streamline its organisational processes with very few financial resources (Bryson, 2011).

Expanding ACAC’s Community Outreach

ACAC may expand its community outreach by providing online services to help clients who are far from the organisation’s primary location (Sacramento, California). This strategy is justified because it is inexpensive and practical in the short-run.

Adopting the Strategic Plan

Adopting and proceeding with the above strategic plans require the involvement of all stakeholders in the decision-making process. In other words, all the stakeholders need to understand why the above strategies are the best and most practical for the organisation. Their acceptance of the strategy symbolises their approval for proceeding with the strategies.

Organisational Future Vision

To be a model rehabilitation centre for drug abuse and mental health victims, no matter their location and background.

Implementation Process

The three main processes for implementing ACAC’s strategic plans are reaching out to stakeholders, measuring progress, and monitoring the strategic plans.

Monitoring and evaluation

The two main issues that may require a further modification of the strategic plan includes the processes of reaching out to the stakeholders and adopting technology tools to support the organisation’s strategy.

Exploring the needs and dynamics surrounding each initiative modifies these issues. For example, every stakeholder has a special interest in the organisation and ACAC has to evaluate every interest when reaching out to the stakeholders.

Reflections on the Strategic Planning Process

Considering my experience in the formulation of ACAC’s strategic planning process, I have realised that the strategic planning process is a multifaceted venture that requires careful consideration into different facets of the strategic plan.

I have also discovered that it is crucial to determine the sustainability of every strategic process because each strategy needs to have a long-term impact on the activities of the organisation. Besides these realisations, the strategic planning process has been informative.

References

ACAC. (2012). Another Choice, Another Chance. Retrieved from

ACDC. (2012). Another Choice Another Chance. Retrieved from

Bryson, J. (2011). Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organisations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organisational Achievement. London: John Wiley & Sons.

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