Brown Bag: Participatory Strategic Planning

I’ve just started working with an arts learning and leadership network. We’re leading them through a highly participatory visioning and strategic planning process. This project is particularly unique because we have very ambitious goals for the process, but we’re planning on being extremely light touch as facilitators and consultants. In particular, the process will center around self-organized, meaningful conversations. We expect most of the meetings to be self-organized by stakeholders, and we won’t be at most of them. In other […]

The Facilitator’s Dilemma

I really loved Rebecca’s post on what she learned from facilitating our strategic planning process this past Fall. I want to riff on a point she made about the facilitator’s dilemma of sticking with the schedule versus letting conversations happen. Rebecca wrote:  I sometimes got visibly anxious when one of our three-hour sessions was clearly not going to result in the outcome I’d designed towards. In one particularly tense moment, Eugene turned to me and said “Rebecca, I know we are not […]

Finding the Simplicity Embedded in Complexity

My friend, the amazing designer and facilitator, Gail Taylor, often exhorts people to find the simplicity embedded in complexity. I’ve been puzzling over this advice over the past few weeks, as I’ve been reflecting on our own practices for working with groups on complex problems. I recently came across two resources that I’d like to share. The first is from my friend, Jeff Conklin, who first introduced me to the notion of Wicked Problems a dozen years ago. This past […]

Five Good Lessons on Strategy

As we mentioned a few months back, this past Fall, Groupaya engaged in our first strategic planning process. Given our obsession with learning, it should come as no surprise that this process helped evolve both our thinking about who we are and what makes good strategy work. For me personally, it was particularly interesting stepping in to the facilitative role for my two mentors, Eugene and Kristin, while also participating as a valued stakeholder in the planning process. Seeing as one of […]

2012 Goals and Strategy

We spent a good part of last year discussing our goals and aspirations — who we wanted to be, what we wanted to accomplish, and how we wanted to do those things. As we started aligning around a big picture, Rebecca led us through a more formal planning process to think through our goals and strategy for 2012. We’d like to share what we came up with, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Vision and Mission All of our […]