SEED TIP OF THE MONTH | MAY

Who Will Bring Your Plans to Life?

Visioning and planning can be heady activities if we are not careful. At SEED we urge our client partners not to think too much!  It is easy enough to produce an exquisitely articulated vision statement and a brilliantly crafted strategic plan. But we tend to hold our fine documents apart from us; we preserve them like precious belongings and never fully use them up.

Enliven

This is the number one reason our clients find us at SEED. 

We have been approached by (weary and discouraged)
leaders with existing strategic plans exceeding 200

pages. Tremendous organizational capacity has been 
expended and much value may have been gained. But
a gulf remains between articulation and
implementation of their strategic plans.

 

If only planning were not kept separate
from action!  Our approach at SEED
removes this separation.  But if you
already have your plan and you’re feeling stuck, we can certainly create a bridge to action.  What might that bridge be?

People

Let’s start with what matters most:

Who shares the core values that drive your work?  Who is deeply passionate about your potential impacts?  The second “E” in SEED is a reminder to Ennoble these folks to roll up their sleeves and join in the fun. 

 

Strategic planning cannot be implemented from the top down, with a few people delegating and a lot of people insufficiently motivated to execute.   

 

From the very start of a strategic planning process, enlist many inputs. As described in recent tips, those invited to dream are much more likely to invest in bringing big dreams to life, than those whose perspectives and ideas have not been tapped.

 

When long-term visions emerge you can avoid the time drain of trying to group-write by asking one or two participants to compile the team’s ideas into a cohesive whole.  A leader or two can quickly sketch out how the vision might evolve over time.  Then, all of the visioning participants should be invited to refine the vision-in-stages once it is drafted. 

 

You can see how we are feeding many birds with one seed, right?  By continually expanding the circle of those engaged, and getting different eyes on the prize, we are establishing shared ownership and no doubt dreaming bigger, too.  

 

Strategic planning is really more about ennobling participants then defining plans. 

 

Once you have a work plan in place, you need one or two “catalyst leaders” to oversee implementation.  Keep an eye out for them through the visioning and planning process:  Who seems to grasp the big ideas and think organizationally?  Who understands the larger context and environmental factors that  can support or impede progress?   Who facilitates maximum participation across the team, values every voice, and attends to the specifics of goal articulation?  In other words, who seems to handle both “the forest and the trees” of your work? 

 

Look beyond the usual suspects; find junior staff or board members exhibiting this potential to be your catalysts. You may wish to recommend them or invite them to volunteer.      

 

If you are a small organization, look for two catalyst leaders to oversee implementation.  If you are a large organization, your work plan may encompass multiple planning teams, and you will want one or two leaders per team.

 

Once you have amassed your people power, all you need is this bit of structure:  

 

Your catalyst leaders will facilitate a monthly (or so) meeting of the work team formed to implement the goals laid out in your strategic plan.

 

We call this a “stretch meeting.”  It is a crucial touch point for keeping the work plan alive and to continually stretch performance as a team.

 

Using internet with web cams can be ideal for these meetings, depending on where everyone is located.  You won’t need much more than one hour. 

 

The catalyst leaders will meet prior to each stretch meeting to prepare, and afterwards to debrief. They will structure your monthly sessions to assure ongoing creative thinking, clear communications, intention tracking, and steady progress.  The catalyst leaders will coach the team to embody your shared vision and become more like it every day.  

 

What else will be gained?  Just this:

Stretch

Ennoble

As an organization you will quickly achieve greater 
accountability and capacity for coordinated action. You 
will discover more co-leaders attending to the 4P’s the
people, process, product and possibilities of your work. 

Daily priorities will align with long term vision. You will 
develop a deeper bench of leaders. Your team will move 
together as one and meet your goals.

SEED specializes in internet coaching for catalyst leaders.To explore: possibilities@seedimpact.org.

Tip of The Month – ARCHIVE

2017

April 2017 – Are We Dancing Yet?

March 2017 – What Is Going On Here and How Can We Work With It?

February 2017 –  Are We Listening for What Is Trying to Happen?

January 2017  Designing Your Own Website, Without A Designer

 

2016

December 2016 – Are We Facing Our Fears?

November 2016 – Have You Identified Your "Strategic Who?"

October 2016 – How Are You Watering Your Own Garden?

September 2016 – What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation?

August 2016 – Shall We Dance?

July 2016 – Creating a Culture of Philanthropy

June 2016 – What Is Your Secret Sauce? 

May 2016 – Changing the World and Reporting It, One Butterfly at a Time

April 2016 – The Right Tool For The Right Job

March 2016 – Listening For What is Trying to Happen

February 2016 – How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?

January 2016 – New Year. New Possibilities. Get On It. 

2015

December 2015 – Trust: A Gift that Keeps on Giving

November  2015 – A Team that Reflects Together ... Rocks

October 2015 – Are You Contributing from Your Sweet Spot?

September 2015 – What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

August 2015 – Emptying the Page to Empty the Mind

July 2015 – Emptying the Mind for New Insights

June 2015 – What do we do when our beautiful plans get derailed?

May 2015 – Who will Bring Your Plans To Life?

April 2015 – Planning with the Magic of Kairos Time

March 2015 – Vision Infused-Planning

February 2015 – Bringing Our Visions to Life

January 2015 – Visioning: We'll See It When We Believe It

 

2014

December 2014 – Busting Out of the Habit of Critique

November 2014 – Enrolling Allies

October 2014 – Achieve Your Mission

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