Massachusetts

Statewide Strategy Planning

Because of all of the hard work of our volunteers over the past five years, Mothers Out Front has become a powerful force in Massachusetts. As we look forward, we want to wield our power wisely and decisively as we work together for the future our children deserve.

Planning for the 2019-2020 MOF MA strategy started in June 2018. The Massachusetts Leadership Team formed a Statewide Strategy Process Planning Team to guide this work, which had three parts:

  1. Evaluating our current statewide campaigns, including how state and local campaigns support each other
  2. Gathering ideas to consider for future campaigns and offering training in strategic thinking
  3. Looking at the organizational structures that support our work and creating a process for decision-making by our grassroots membership

Mothers Out Front is five years old, and we have come a long way. But we know we have to get stronger, wiser and more powerful in the next five years to avert calamitous climate change. To succeed, we have to persuade our public officials and other decision makers to take bold action and we have to draw more people to our movement.  We need to learn to think and act more strategically to win bigger. This is what the Statewide Strategy Process Planning Team had in mind as we planned ways for everyone to be able to participate.

First, we gathered reflections on how the the current campaigns are working and what we have learned. Determining how strategic our current work has been and how it might go forward is a vital element of this process. We developed discussion questions for task forces to use to evaluate themselves. We also gathered information in 1:1 meetings, coaching meetings, group conversations, and a survey of local teams and functional teams. This evaluation work culminated in a meeting of task forces and other strategic leaders to take pride in our accomplishments, identify different approaches to our work, and learn from our campaigns of the past 3 years.

Second, we knew that there were many interesting ideas for potential new Mothers Out Front projects. In order to bring them to light, we invited anyone interested to briefly propose an idea for a statewide campaign. We were looking for ideas to explore and develop over time, and ideas that would become full proposals for campaigns to act on right away. Part of this process was learning together more about thinking strategically and about What is a Campaign?

Third, this time period was also an opportunity to examine questions about who makes what decisions, who bears responsibility for outcomes, and how we build consensus and commit to shared campaign goals and a plan of action. We formed a Structure  Planning Group to recommend how to best structure our leadership and decision making processes going forward, including how we would vote at the October 20th Strategy Summit.

Here is the timeline we followed:

August

  • Evaluation meetings began within task forces  (Discussion Questions here)
  • Evaluation & reflection survey to all community teams, functional teams, and other volunteers sent out.

September

  • Collection and Connection period for new campaign ideas.
  • Training opportunities for developing our collective strategic thinking
  • Evaluation meeting notes from task forces and surveys from communities and functional teams were completed 
  • Focused on developing strategy during the monthly campaign call
  • Met with task force leaders, functional team leaders and others 

October

  • Oct 3 - Presentations were made by campaign proposers on a web call
  • Campaign proposals developed and combined by the proposers with assistance from staff
  • Oct 20 - Statewide strategy summit

 

The Statewide Strategy Process Planning Team worked to create a creative, democratic, and inclusive process. As we might expect in a learning organization like Mothers Out Front, the plan evolved as we worked on it. Pulling members together has the potential to draw out fresh ideas, improve our strategic thinking skills, create new connections among us, and grow our shared sense of purpose. We knew that brilliance would emerge from our collective work in this process. And it has!

 


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