We provide a variety services to help communities and leadership teams plan for their future, including:
Mission and Vision planning
Mission and vision
Developing mission and vision statements is a favorite pass time of leadership teams and communities alike. Often times, however, these efforts amount to little more than a document containing wonderful words, framed and hung on a wall. While developing these statements can be an exercise of going through the motions, it doesn’t have to be. It can be a “process” that impassions a group with a sense of purpose and provides clear direction and focus for their efforts.
We help leadership teams, small groups and communities articulate for themselves their Mission, which speaks to the essence of why they exist. And we help them articulate their Vision, which is a set of most important goals along with a plan for attaining them. The process of developing these clarifies underlying assumptions, surfaces underlying values and stimulates conversation about people’s most important convictions. The process helps groups develop a deeper sense of conviction about who they are and their purpose.
The documents or statements produced, which we believe remain as “works in progress,” serves as ongoing compasses to orient the group in their work. These are not to be pinned down, put on wall or put away once completed. Rather these can be living documents, ones never completed, but that continue as reference points that evolve along with new understandings.
Strategic planning simply means creating a plan and related strategies for accomplish your goal(s). It can be a huge undertaking or a relatively circumscribed task. We help teams and communities plan their plan. In other words, we help groups articulate what they want to accomplish. We collaborate with them in devising a planning method that fits their unique circumstances and style. We provide assistance as requested through the various phases, from initial planning, to implementation and evaluation.
Chapter planning is a wonderful opportunity for communities to refocus their efforts and create a sense of renewed ownership for the direction of their community. We strongly value the dual emphasis of process and outcome. Whether Chapters of Election precede or follow Chapters of Affairs, communities must come to a new mandate. The community, and the newly elected team, need to know what they are being asked to do for the next several years. Hence, we are outcome oriented in the sense that actions, directions, and/or decisions should result from a Chapter.
Likewise, the processes used in Chapter should come together to form a whole, integrated experience. Chapters can become too “outcome” oriented, packed with agenda such that people are pressed to just complete them regardless of the quality or ownership for the work that is done. Countless proposals, endless voting and Robert’s Rules can drive all the “p’s” crazy. At the other end of the continuum, Chapters can become too “process” oriented without attention to the outcome and drive all the “J’s” crazy. Specific outcomes with purposeful process needs to part of Chapter. We work with planning groups to ensure that the process fits the outcome. We work to ensure that their is fidelity to the plan while remaining flexible in carrying it out.
We also know that Chapters can be a forum for high drama and high conflict. As facilitators we do not try to plan around this, but we plan for it and deal with it as it necessary in Chapter. We see conflict and resistance as inevitable and important aspects of any group process and we are not shy in working with it. Working through conflict is the work of collaboration; it is the work of change. When effective it is the impetus for creative “solutioning” and the very process by which ownership occurs (i.e., being in the struggle together).
Chapters of Election
With regard to Chapters of Election we typically design and implement discernment processes that precedes and continue on through the Chapter. For us, the discernment process is both “personal” and “communal.” We encourage personal prayer and reflection as well as communal prayer and reflection. We recognize the tendency for politics at Chapters and we work with planning groups to help groups move more and more toward discernment.
Our values pertaining to Chapter planning extends to assemblies as well. In other words we seek a balance of process and outcome in the planning. In the planning we seek to help the planning group recognize its own resources and strengthen themselves as a cohesive group during the planning process. We seek to develop a strong sense of collaboration and creativity in accomplishing the goals. We have a strong belief in the need for planning groups to honor feedback given by the community and we encourage a close relationship between the planning group and the community at large. See our commitment for additional information.