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Is Data Sabotaging Your Strategic Plan?
Why do so many strategic plans feel less than strategic?
Social change groups want to change seemingly intractable, systemic conditions in our communities. But do we plan for that work? Generally not.
Instead, more often than not, those planning efforts lead us to create 2-year plans aimed at incremental change – perhaps reducing X problem by X percent for X group of people.
If that sounds familiar, the problem isn’t you. The problem is strategic planning itself.
And it all starts with how we’ve been taught to begin that plan: Collecting data.
Whether we’re doing an environmental scan, a situational analysis, or a needs assessment, when we start with data, our plan is guaranteed to be reactive - because the only thing you can do with data is react to it. And reactivity leads to incrementalism.
In a recent article, Hildy provides a more effective alternative. In that piece, she shares what is possible when a plan starts entirely differently.
Not surprisingly, that more effective approach is rooted in Catalytic Thinking. Because Catalytic Thinking is all about shifting from “reacting to what's wrong” to “creating what is possible.”
If you are considering your next strategic plan - or if you are a consultant who does strategic planning as part of your work - you will definitely want to read that piece and share it.
And let’s all take steps to turn our “strategic plans” into community impact plans!
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