A Basic Model for Strategy

For last week’s Design for Democracy event I prepared a simple model of strategic process. The fundamental aspects are goal-setting, planning, acting on the plan, and checking (evaluating) whether or not the actions in the plan are actually helping to achieve the goal.

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However, the “secret sauce” that links these four elements are just as important.

In my session I had participants work in pairs to fill in the secret sauce of strategy on diagrams I provided.  Then we reviewed ideas as a group.

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You can do the activity too!

Just fill in the blank spaces in the diagram below, and then check below to view the answers I came up with.

 

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A key learning from the workshop was that most design projects are linear.  There is goal-setting, planning, and acting, but no checking or adaptation.

To change a linear process into an iterative one, one must insert a checking/evaluation step.  This can occur through formally through planned meetings in which set metrics are reviewed and analyzed.

In the absence of this planned process,  informal “check-ins” or “reflections meetings” can be suggested, even by staff not in a management position.  These meetings will surface learning about how the process is going.