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Engaging Coalition Members in Strategic Planning

 Does anyone have any tips for engaging coalition members in the strategic planning process? The coalition I support is having a hard time and I want to be sure I help them the best way that I can! 

General Discussion
IsaacWulff- Apr 17, 2019 03:40 PM Reply

Hey Kirsten! My first question is what stage of the SPF are you hoping to plan with them? I had a slighly different approach for each stage. Data was super "boring" to most of them, so it was just a small group of reliable nerds for the Assessment stage. Then I had them present the findings to the whole coalition. Then for Planning, we set out the objectives that the needs assessment identified as being highest on four different tables, everyone chose a table/objective they wanted to work at, I gave them stacks of program descriptions that would meet those objectives and they picked their top four favorite programs. Then I asked for volunteers to form a planning team which met for 2 hours at a coffee shop to narrow down the choices even farther based on capacity, cost, etc. We kind of did the same thing for implementation, but bottom line is that the more I talk, the less they enjoy things, so I try to get them working directly on stuff as much as possible. It's frustrating sometimes because they haven't had the training we have so they really don't get the language, but they know the kids and the community, so they do make good decisions if I stay out of their way. I spend most of my time interpreting, which is familiar ground for me. Just remember: we do our best thinking with our mouths. Let me know if I can clarify any of this.


KirstenFuchs- Apr 18, 2019 01:10 PM Reply

Hi Isaac! This was super helpful! We're in the "boring" stage right now where we're not quite to a majority of our data, but working on structure, capacity, etc. which doesn't inspire much enthusiasm. Lucky for me, my coalition is super excited about data and seeing how their qualitative analysis of the community fits with it, but we have not gotten our data books, so we have yet to dive in completely to this part of the process. I guess we're having the most trouble with just finishing things out- there was some excitement right at the begining, but now that there's real work involved we've lost a lot of momentum. I think I agree with you- the more I talk the less they enjoy working through the material. I liked your table idea and breaking off into smaller, more targeted objectives. I am going to steal this from you! And see how I can help them spend some more time thinking out loud together in a more interactive way. 

Again, thank you!