I was looking forward to these two days since I had the chance at a previous training to get a short insight into strategic planning. I definitely felt that the Living indepentently - in a community group, which I represented during the weekend, has a great need for this to operate more effectively.
The training was held by Borbála Iványi and Tessza Udvarhelyi, who shared with us a lot of practical examples and experiences over the two days. The aim of the first session, after a short introduction, was to get to know as much as possible about each other’s organzations, ant to make it clear where we all are the process of creating our own strategies. It turned out soon that we were quite a diverse group: somebody had a well developed strategy which was evaluated regularly with the other members of the organization, while others just recently formed their groups.
After lunch, all of us had to imagine what the world would like like where we wanted to live. On one hand, we talked about our own personal images and then we talked about the ideal world for our groups. The second part may have been harder for those who represented an organization on their own – such as me -, as I was not sure about how my own and my group's common image were similar or different.
In the morning of the second day we got to know the basics of strategic planning. We talked about the difference between vision and mission, the theory of change, and how long and short-term goals are derived from these. By the time we had discussed all the steps of the planning process, it became more clear to me how important it was that our everyday actions also helpe the realization of he mission, even though we often tend to forget about this.
After the theoretical introduction, everybody had to work out their own organization’s vision, mission and theory of change and then we talked about a few of these. For recreation, we played a strategic game, which was interesting and at the same time difficult because we had to resolve a problem without using any form of interaction.
The most exciting part of the training came Sunday afternoon, when we started to plan together the strategy of two organizations – The City is for All Pécs and Civil Kotta from Szentendre. On the one hand, it was very interesting to experience how strategic planning works in practice. On the other hand, it was good to play the role of a member of another organization and give them advice.
I received a lot of new information over these two days. Besides learning a lot from Bori and Tessza, it was instructive to hear other organizations’ experiences and problems as well. Now I can understand more clearly the process of strategic planning and I think that the knowledge I have gained will become valuable when we fill the various steps of strategy with actual content.