This is part of the continuing series about Strategic Planning and outlines the process I am using with a particular organization. I wanted to briefly explain something that I think is a viable pattern for learning from others, namely, looking at their work and seeing how you need to shape your own work in order to be considered a participating member of the industry.
The organization I am working for is trying to draft a strategic plan that also accounts for decision-making policies in how they invest in different causes. Many of those causes include development work in places that have the shared features of extreme poverty, drastically different cultural values, and non-Western perspectives (i.e., post-colonial environments). After listening to the organization talk about their vision and mission and seeing the history of their work and recognizing their place of respect in the development community I felt that it was important to make sure that they were at least in line with the ethical standards of similar industries (especially anthropology). After looking through different industry codes of ethics I decided that the American Anthropological Association had a superb code of ethics and that without violating copyrights I would use it as a research tool to identify the major domains of concern for ethical conduct. This is an ongoing process and it will be a few weeks before I am completely content with the results. My approach will include working with my organization to help them see how the AAA code of ethics can inform their own tactics and methods that emerge to meet the strategic goals. Basically, I hope that the organization can use this code of ethics to continue to drive their own policy and decision-making.
This is following my personal learning strategy: Collect, Analyze, Present. And I am teaching the organization to collect the views of others, to analyze how they might apply to their own work, and present them in a format that suits the strategic goals of the organization.
Stay tuned for updates.
Post Script: WordPress has a feature that suggests related articles and before I published this article it suggested this interesting link: http://godspace.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/organic-strategic-planning-a-wave-of-the-future/