Strategic plan Prepared by: Center forCommunityOrganizing Banská Bystrica SLOVAKIA
What is the strategic planning process? It is a realistic, detailed assessment of your organizations power and that of your organizing target. This process should lead your organization to one of the two following conclusions: A. The organization is strong enough to take on the target directly and win. OR B. The organization is not strong enough to win right now.
The organization is not strong enough to win right now. If your answer was B, your organization has two options: • Take on an issue campaign that will build the organizing capacity of your organization so that it can eventually win the primary issue. • Go into coalition with other like minded organizations and take on the primary issue directly.
List the long-term objectives of your campaign. • State the intermediate goals of this issue campaign. What continues victory? How will the campaign: • Win concrete improvements in people’s lives? • Give people a sense of their own power? • Alter the relations of power? • What short term or partial victories can you win as steps toward your long-term goal?
List the resources that your organization brings to the campaign.Include: money, number of staff, facilities, reputation, etc. What is the budget, including in-kind contributions, for this campaign? • List the specific ways in which you want your organization to be strengthened by this campaign. Fill in numbers for each: • expand leadership group • increase experience of existing leadership • build membership base • expand into new constituencies • raise more money • List internal problems that have to be considered if the campaign is to succeed.
Who cares about this issue enough to join in or help the organization? • Whose problem is it? • What do they gain if they win? • What risks are they taking? • What power do they have over the target? • Into what groups are they organized? • Who are your opponents? • What will your victory win? • What will they do/spend to oppose you? • How strong they are?
Primary Targets A target is always a person. It is never an institution or elected body. • Who has the power to give you what you want? • What power do you have over them? • Secondary Targets • Who has power over the people with the power to give you what you want? • What power do you have over them?
For each target, list the tactic that each constituent group can best use to make its power felt. Tactics must be: • In context • Flexible and creative • Directed at a specific target • Make sense to the membership • Be backed up by a specific form of power Tactics include: • Media events • Actions for information and demands • Public hearings • Strikes • Voter education • Law suits • Accountability sessions • Elections and negotiations
Tactics • Will people accept it? • Will it dramatize and build the issue? • Will it throw the enemy off guard? • Will it personalize the enemy? • Will it be fun for the people? • What alternatives must be planned? • Will it get us to the bargaining table?
Action Action has a two-fold significance for citizens‘ organization. On the most simple level, the action is the focusing of organizational energy to effect certain results – police attention to neglected drug traffic, favorable insurance rates, building a branch bank in a neighborhood that needs and wants it. More importantly, action fuels the organizing process. Action is to organization, what oxygen is to our bodies. Without action, the process is reduced to a sociology class or navel-gazing. Action is the womb of discovery - discovery of self, of values. In the actions new sides of current leaders emerge. New leaders come to the fore, talkers evaporate. And actions create reactions from opponents, which require flexible and factual decision-making by the collective leadership. Action enables the organization to grow, to deal with increasingly complex issues, to win more substantial victories, and thereby again increase its growth. Ed Chambers Director, Industrial Area Foundations
Action The most important part of the action is the reflection and evaluation afterward. Our organizations plan “actions” – public dramas, where masses of ordinary people collaboratively and collectively move on a particular issue with particular focus - which sometimes produce a reaction that is unanticipated. This reaction then produces the grist for the real teaching of politics and interpretation – how to appreciate the negotiations, the challenge, the argument, and the political conversation. Ernie Cortes Supervisor, Industrial Area Foundation