Planning to Change the World

The week between the holidays is always planning time for us. This year that is huge, as we are creating 2 plans. As the Community-Driven Institute officially splits from its founding home at our consulting and publishing firm, ReSolve, Inc., we need a plan for each organization!

Developing the Institute has taught us (and continues to teach us) that we can accomplish vastly more if we are transparent in the work we do – even the internal work of planning.

And so this week, we will share with you our plans, and ask for your guidance as we start to immediately move those plans forward.

First, though, we want to share with you last year’s plan – both the plan and the results. We share this for a number of reasons. First, we want to be clear that we practice what we teach.  The plan you will see unfold in the next several days is no different from any we have facilitated over the years.

In addition, we want to show yet another case study of what such a plan looks like in action. You can see that this is a plan for aiming the work of this whole sector at what is possible, rather than aiming our work at what is wrong.

And lastly, we are excited to share the incredible results such a vision-based plan created and is continuing to create.

The Plan

When we created our first Impact Plan back in 2007, we used the same reverse engineered approach we teach.  We started with the end result in mind, and worked backwards to develop our 2-year goals.

The ultimate vision was the same one we all want – a peaceful, healthy, compassionate, resilient, vibrant world.

After reverse engineering the cause-and-effect conditions that would ultimately lead to that vision, the following are among the most immediate conditions that would need to be put into place:

  • Social Change agents must be able to easily learn about and engage with the principles that undergird visionary community improvement.
  • There must be ample proof that it is not only possible but practical (and simple) for “nonprofit” Community Benefit organizations to create visionary community transformation
  • There must also be proof that functioning according to The Pollyanna Principles is practical for organizations as well.
  • Those who are ready to take the step of transforming their work must have access to teachers and mentors who can help them do so.
  • Individuals who are on the path to creating transformation must have a place to learn together and support each other in their work.

As we worked this plan 2 years ago, back at the end of 2007, we established the following 2-year goals as our first steps in establishing those conditions throughout the Community Benefit Sector.

#1: Raise awareness that creating visionary community and global change is not just possible, but practical and doable.  Accomplish this by convening, teaching, writing, and engaging those who are ready – by telling stories of what had already been accomplished, and urging others to accomplish similar results as their own proof.

#2: Use demonstration projects to prove that visionary change is both possible and practical.

#3: Develop curriculum and teach those who are ready to apply this immediately to their work, creating ongoing supportive learning communities as part of that process.

The results of that plan have been beyond anything we could have imagined.  I’ll share those results with you tomorrow, to lay the groundwork for the plans we have drafted for 2010 and beyond. (Update: That post is online here.)

We look foward to your being part of this adventure, because that is just what this is – an adventure in the world of what is not only possible for our communities, but what is practical and achievable.  See you tomorrow!

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