Strategy

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Definition:

How you turn the resources you have into the power you need to win the goal you want through ongoing tactics

Key Principles

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  • Strategy is a verb. It is something we do, not something we have. As we work toward our goal, we learn from our successes and failures in order to adapt and become more and more effective over time.
  • Strategy is a dynamic, ongoing, collaborative, creative process—the best strategies really do change every day but are grounded in a long-term vision.
  • Strategy is believable and achievable. We can't just want to build power and hope it works out. As organizers, we have to believe in the impossible—but we really have to believe in our strategy for us to be able to ask anyone to join with us!
  • At the same time, we never know what's going to work. We have to constantly try new things and change our strategy when we find something that's working. There is no perfect strategy!
  • Strategy moves us closer to our goal. It's really easy to organize lots of un-strategic tactics or to have many conversations that don't lead anywhere. You'll know you're doing a strategic tactic or engaging a strategic resource if it helps build power over your target and strengthens your leadership.
  • Strategy involves choosing what NOT to do. We have limited time and resources. We just can't do everything. Strategy involves making hard choices that focus lots of people on the same strategy.

How to

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1. Build leaders and leadership teams who will make strategic decisions.

  • Recruit and train people who can take leadership in your Council.
  • Recruit and train people to join the Council and join the Core team.

2. Power-map your target and your community.

  • Decide on your target—the person or group of people who has the power to give you the change you want to see (i.e. your goal). What resources do they want? What power do they have?
  • What resources does your Council have? What resources does your community have? What is your power? What resources do you have that your targets want? Make specific decisions about what resources to use and how.

3. Develop your timeline and tactics.

  • Develop the story of your strategy. This is how you articulate your strategy to use your resources to build power over your target. Is it believable and compelling?
  • Brainstorm strategic tactics that will have an impact on your target.
  • Make a timeline and organize a first tactic.
  • Look for opportunities to engage in tactics, and plan ahead for other tactics on a clear timeline.

4. Keep strategizing and building your leadership team.

  • Evaluate what worked and what didn't. Based on this, adjust your strategy and tactics.
  • Recruit more leaders—train and support them to keep taking on more leadership.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat!

Take-Aways

 

  • 1. Strategy is a verb. It is something we do, not something we have

 

  • 2. Strategy is believable and achievable—and is constantly changing. We have to constantly try new things and change our strategy when we find something that's working. There is no perfect strategy!

 

  • 3. Strategy involves choosing what NOT to do.

 

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