Strategic Thinking in Collaboration

Strategic Thinking in Collaboration
Mark Avery
Air Date: September 27, 2012

Strategic planning at a network/ partnership level, a process I call ‘Strategic Context Analysis’, is the idea that partnership is often viewed as the solution to a problem no organization really has– we created this organization to do X and we can do it. The problem is that the people we serve need more than our X. They live in a world that is dynamic and highly interdependent… our organizations naturally seek stability and autonomy. Strategic Context Analysis (SCAN) allows a group to process that reality and catalyze a strategic conversation that creates a shared sense of identity (as people identify with people in the context of a strategic conversation) and, a shared picture of what ‘strategic’looks like granted what is already happening and the way the people we serve experience the current mix of services. This allows the network to continue to function as a network, but aligns the information base upon which autonomous decisions of agencies are based upon. As I see it, this is much like the role that MissioNexus, itself provides to the larger community. The application of SCAN is completely scalable, and I would like to use this as an opportunity to draw people into a community of practice based on this philosophy of ministry. It is by no means a finished/closed product– it is an unfolding conversation about how to facilitate strategic decision-making in an inter-group context. From the perspective of the people we serve, we are already working ‘together’ in that we are all in the same place with the same fundamental message. The choice we face today is whether we will work ‘together’ intentionally or accidentally.


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