I’ve just signed up to get ‘Tip of the Day’ from the New Organising Institute. They’re based in the US and every weekday they send a free tip about organising, many of which would be relevant to campaigners in the UK. How brilliant is that?
This is my favourite so far (which I’ve reproduced in full to illustrate how brilliant they are*). I can’t encourage you enough to sign up for the tips….
The difference between goals, strategies and tactics by Nick Gaw
I see so many campaigns get excited about a new tool, and then use it without considering how it impacts their strategy. There are some really sexy organizing tools out there. In the midst of some amazing innovation, it can be all too easy to get excited about using a particular tool and forget to think about where it fits in to the grand scheme of your primary objective. Unless you can use it to reach your goal, it’s not worth spending time and money on. So, here’s an example to demonstrate the difference between goals, strategy and tactics.
Your Goal: Getting backstage at a Justin Bieber concert.
Possible strategies, with accompanying tactics bulleted:
Strategy 1. Become friends with Justin Bieber’s mom
- Join her book club
- Join her church
- Get your mom to introduce you
Strategy 2. Get Justin to notice you from on stage and invite you back
- Procure front-row tickets
- Coordinate posters and outfits among other attendees
- Throw something attention-getting onstage
Strategy 3. Become friends with the bouncer
- Dress in a way that he notices
- Buy him beer
- Date his best friend
Notice that the tactics for each strategy are unique, specific, and don’t fit any of the other strategies. If you can stay committed to your goal, put creative strategies into place, and use tactics that are effective in your specific situation, you’ll be in good shape!
And remember, if a tool or tactic helps you implement your strategy to reach your goal, you should use it (Justin Bieber’s mom probably appreciates a nice young person in her book club). If it doesn’t, then it’s only going to be a distraction (throwing something attention-grabbing on stage at her church is probably counter-productive).
If a tool fits your strategy and tactics, use it! But make sure you know why you’re using it, and how it benefits your work.
Go to http://neworganizing.com/tag/noi-tips/ for more and to sign up.
* if you’re from the wonderful folk at New Organising Institute, firstly thanks and secondly let me know if you don’t want this tip to be published in full here…