Strategic facilitation is one of Creation In Common’s greatest strengths. We have become very adept at helping people collaborate, connect their ideas, and identify and articulate really tough questions. And then we help them find a way to tackle those questions.
Throughout our strategic planning process with clients, we make three promises. These promises help clients understand what they can expect from us and the standard to which we hold ourselves.
Promise One: We will provide deep insights.
We promise to help our clients look at their organizations in new ways. We help them dig deep and unearth their primary challenges and the root causes of those challenges.
Many organizations can see the symptoms when things aren’t going well: missed deadlines, high turnover, miscommunication, decision paralysis. But when you’re in the whirlwind of day-to-day work it can be hard to identify the causes.
Years ago, we worked with an organization whose programming had grown significantly in a very short period of time. Even though their budget had also grown, they were having a hard time getting the work done. We helped them move beyond the symptoms and bring a systems thinking lens to the challenge recognizing key forces limiting growth and what is needed to address these forces.
Promise Two: We will help identify meaningful ways forward.
Once we help a client articulate these deep insights, we promise to help them identify meaningful pathways to a solution.
There’s a common belief that more people or more money will lead to more impact. But more is not a strategy. It’s not even a very good goal. And sometimes it just creates more problems. A meaningful way forward might instead be a strategy that redirects efforts to address root causes within a community, restructuring the flow of information throughout the organization, or working more cross-functionally.
Most often it involves building capabilities across the organization and targeting resources to support those new capabilities so they can advance their impact and take their work to the next level.
Promise Three: We will create inspiring deliverables.
We promise to create deliverables that inspire our clients to take action. A deliverable could be an engaging strategic planning document, an environmental scan that spells out deep insights in a meaningful and transformative way, or a tool that helps a client implement their plan.
Inspiring deliverables don’t come together in a burst of creativity — they’re developed through a series of moments. When we create our deliverables, we want them to reflect the process we’ve gone through with a client. Inspiration is embedded in the transformation we’ve undergone as part of the planning process.
We believe the best strategic plans contextualize the past and point toward a compelling future, but they also help our clients make better decisions and choices today.