Strategic planning – a participant’s account

 

Last weekend we participated in a three-day long training organized by the School of Public. We had been looking forward to the three-day long event with great enthusiasm, because even though we were a very mixed group from all over the country, we shared something. Everyone wants to enhance or change certain areas of our society. We came to the training to learn new methods that can be utilized for this and to learn how to use them. And I think we did get these.

We have learned that it is not worthwhile to separate our goals and internal spiritual and mental state from one another, that it is important to be aware of our motivations, because these can help a lot in crises situations. Inevitably there will be such situations, but if we conceive them as a possibility to learn something, then we can come out of them with gains. I also gained a lot from the approach that one should always start from the goal and not from the present situation, it is better to strip things back from the goal. It is important for us to have an image of the ideal world, where the goal that we work for (often on voluntary basis) for many years, is fulfilled. It is very good if we can summarize this in 2-3 sentences. Primarily to ourselves, if things don’t got so well, this can help us to get through difficult periods more easily and help us to continue the road towards our goal, but formulating a clear goal can also help to facilitate the involvement of others. It can furthermore help us to see more clearly what we are doing and why.

The use of images, inner images, that can mobilize and inspire us and also others, can be very useful. Since I mentioned goals, a good strategy can help us tremendously in reaching them. It is like a map that leads to the destination. It can help us to rationalize and find the efficient tools, and to utilize them in our activities. It takes a lot of time to develop such a thing, and it is good if we can involve as many of our colleagues as possible in the process, because then everyone will consider the goal their own and they will put more efforts into reaching it. It is important that it is not a dead document, but it should be rather a guidance that actively influences and facilitate the functioning of the organization, it should not be set in stone, what is more, it is important to go back to it time to time and revise it. It is good to link such a control to a 3-4 day long so-to-say retreat, when we give time to ourselves and to each other to think through what we are doing and why, and whether these actions are really leading us towards that goal. Such an occasion can mean a real push in the life of the organization.

I am almost certain that the knowledge that we obtained here will be very useful for all of us when we will be working on our own or on our community’s social ideal. On the whole we had a really good time. The tiredness caused by the large amount of new and useful information was alleviated by the instructive games, through which we also learned a lot. About ourselves and about our society’s functioning.

I am very much looking forward to utilize the knowledge that I received in the training in my work.

Csaba Kiss

Photo: István Várady