Engagement Planning & Design

The Engagement Planning and Design Process allows clients to discover the solutions bubbling up from the edges of their network.  We build structures for those voices to be heard, and lasting solutions to be scaled across that network.

Here are the typical steps we take in an Engagement Planning & Design Process:

I. Discovery Phase

Each project begins with a deep assessment of your organization during the Discovery Phase. In this phase we:

1.    Review Materials.  We review the organization’s mission, vision, goals, theory of change, workplans, strategy and constituent communications.
2.    Listen. We conduct a formal listening process to harvest learning from the edges of an organization.  Typically we do one-on-one listening with a cross section of constituents, donors, leaders, and target audience members. The scope of this listening depends on the network size and organizational budget, but is never fewer than 20 people.
3.    Train. In most projects, we encourage organizations to do a “secondary listening” where we train staff to do listening sessions; we then develop a process for staff to experience listening to the edges.  Finally, we debrief the staff and incorporate their findings in our planning.
4.    Survey:  Where appropriate, we survey segments of the organization’s membership.  Typically we recommend against this strategy due to its significant biases and limitations; however, in certain cases, we will conduct an online survey to gather more information.
5.    Manage Buy In:  When we have done about 75%-90% of the discovery, we present preliminary findings to key stakeholder groups within the organization to get their feedback (and buy-in).  Typically this will include the Board of Directors, the Senior Staff, and the top grassroots leaders in the organization.

II.     The Design Phase

The Design Phase is where critical research and strategic development sets the stage for your success. In this phase we:

1.    Develop Pathways.   Using all information gathered in the discovery phase, we develop customized online to offline engagement pathways for each constituent group.
2.    Present.  Communicating our recommendations and plan to your key staff and stakeholders.
3.    Power Mapping.  In some cases, an organization requests that we do power and position mapping as part of the Engagement Plan.  We find that this can be profoundly helpful context for an organization that is poised to lead a movement; and can do this concurrently with the discovery and planning process.
4.    Provide Ongoing Support.  Our engagement plans include three months of phone coaching and support to help your organization move the Engagement Plan into the beta test and implementation phase.