Tactics

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Definition:

Specific, clear, and measureable actions or tools that use our resources to build power over our target.

Key Principles

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  • Strategy without tactics is just a bunch of nice ideas. Tactics without strategy are a waste of resources. So the art of organizing is in the dynamic relationship between strategy and tactics—using the strategy to inform the tactics, and closely observing the tactics to revise the strategy.
  • There are three key parts of an effective tactic.
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    • Make strategic moves toward winning. It makes concrete, measurable progress toward campaign goals. The goal of the tactic isn't just to get media coverage or high turnout. The goal of the tactic has to be building power in relation to those who have the resources to create the change you want to see.
    • Strengthen your Council by attracting and engaging new people in new ways. Tactics should increase your community’s capacity to effect change in the future by generating new material and human resources. Ineffective actions deplete organizational resources by wasting money or burning people out.
    • Develop leaders by supporting the growth and development of individuals involved in the campaign. New people are trained to do new things; new theories are tested; people take on more responsibility; people try a new role; new learning is generated.
  • Effective tactics have clear, measurable outcomes. What will be your measurable goals for this action? You’ll develop goals for each criterion:
    • Strategic goals: petitions signed, one-to-one meetings completed, earned media coverage
    • Council building goals: % of our membership attending, # of new Council members
    • Leadership development goals: # of volunteers trained with new skills, # of leaders tested in new skills
  • Tactics require clear leadership and roles.
  • Tactics need to be constantly evaluated. Will this tactic have any impact on your target? How? How likely is the impact to make a difference to your target?
  • Tactics require creativity, courage, and flexibility—and are grounded in our stories and our communities.

How to

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  • Brainstorm possible tactics.
  • Narrow to choose first tactic.
  • Design your tactic to be more effective, and set goals.
  • Make the plan: Who will do what and by when?
  • Do the tactic!
  • Evaluate the tactic.

Take-Aways

 

  • 1. The art of organizing is in the dynamic relationship between strategy and tactics—using the strategy to inform the tactics, and closely observing the tactics to revise the strategy.

 

  • 2. Effective tactics are strategic, strengthen your Council, and develop leaders.

 

  • 3. Effective tactics have clear, measurable outcomes.

 

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