It’s time to re-think our strategies for social change. The social/political environment in which we advocate has changed and is entirely different than what it was two weeks and two years ago. Our economy is volatile and it seems like any minute, something could happen that would change the way society views itself. Epic environmental events seem to be happening with greater frequency and our ability to perceive more of what happens in the world means that life indeed getting faster, more intense, and more complicated.
We live in what seem like increasingly uncertain times and rapid change. To navigate these ever changing waves of reality, we need to learn to assess, analyze and adjust – rapidly and repeatedly. Whose strategic plans three years ago predicted the world we live in today?
Therefore, we must change with the world AND become adept at adapting. Agencies of change (whether for profit, or not for profit, or governments) should be constantly re-thinking their strategy. Strategy should be something that can be launched quickly, learned from quickly, and adpapted quickly. The pace of change in our world today requires us to be in a constant state of awareness, analysis and adaptation. Our abiltity to respond to changes in our environment is directly connected to our chances of survival.
Smaller organizations are better suited for rapid change, and coalitions and large organizations both benefit from (and are burdened by) their size and momentum. But no matter what the size, every organization of human beings trying to do something in the world needs to learn how to adapt quickly and effectively in a way that minimizes risk and maximizes impact. This is strategy.
Over the last couple of years, we have integrated the Agile methodology into the management of our operations (Agile’s not just for developers, anymore!). Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be sharing some of the process and tools we use with our clients and in our personal lives to envision, navigate and implement change.