Theory to Action – 6 questions everyone at your org should answer

We strategist folk love to talk Theories of Change, Power Maps and the like – and there’s a reason: your organization’s precious resources need to be employed effectively if you want to remain relevant and keep the lights on.

If your organization’s Theory of Change is known only to your grant writers, take a moment to consider:

The Change: What’s your mission?
Our Activities: What do you actually do?
Effectiveness Gap: What are the assumptions that lie between your activities and your goal?

The answer to these questions are the key to your ability to be effective, and tell that effectiveness story to others. So, if you give presentations to school kids, and your vision of change is environmental protection for your region, what has to line up between your presentations and systemic factors influencing your regional environment in order for you to meet your goal? This is not just a grant-making exercise – it’s the foundation of who you are, and how you’re seen.

This thinking extends to your audience – who you speak to, and why – and too often we have only a vague understanding of why we communicate and how it supports our mission.

Find some time with your team and reflect on these questions:

Deciders: Who do we need to influence to make the change we want to see?
Influencers: Who do these people listen to?
Access: how do we access these Influencers and Deciders, and what will convince them to change?

These 6 questions form the basis of your strategic organizational and campaign plan, and these should be consensus within your team as to who you are, what change you’re making and how you’re going about it.

Have you gone through this exercise with your team? How does your Theory of Change and Power Map affect your work? Tell us in the comments below….