Simplexity Associate Patricia Lustig led a strategy development programme for an INGO in Bangladesh to develop its Country Strategy for the next 5 years. We ensured that the process was participative, including people from across the organisation and their partner NGOs. In excess of 100 people (10% of their stakeholder body) were actively involved, and many more were involved in conversations outside the formal process.
We used an Appreciative Inquiry as the process framework. This teaches an alternative way of envisioning potential futures and then building on existing strengths to co-create and implement them. It allows people to dream creatively and realistically and reframes reality such that it provides them the energy and momentum to make their dreams happen.
As part of the visioning process we used scenario planning to help participants work through and understand how different futures might unfold. Based upon the powerful, positive visions of the future that they chose to co-create we developed action plans which included planning for course correction. We explored what obstacles they might encounter and what external challenges might happen (Bangladesh had notoriously unstable governments at the time) which they would have to address in order to assess the robustness of their plan.
The team were surprised by how much they achieved including a vision, strategy and the most suitable action plan to simultaneously deliver the best possible immediate results and provide a challenging framework for the coming years. They produced the shortest; most readable (according to the trustees) document of all the countries that produced a strategy that year and it was the only plan which the board passed on the first reading.