How would you like an incredibly simple and simply powerful planning tool for 2014? Let me introduce you to Tom Paterson, a strategy and planning guru. Tom is in his 80s and living outside of Denver (and not doing much consulting these days.) He is the architect of a process called "StratOp," an intense 3-day strategic execution process with planning tools. Pictured below, his legacy is now continued by the Paterson Center.
One of Tom's mantras is "Perspective before Planning." During planning event, the team spends over a day increasing and enhancing perspective together through a set of guided experiences. One of those experiences, that anyone can immediately use, is called the 4 Helpful Lists. Here is how it works.
- Create five columns on white board or two white-pad sticky sheets (the latter is shown here).
- At the top of the first four columns put the 4 questions: What's Right? What's Wrong? What's Confused and What's Missing?
- At the top of the 5th column write, "Core Issues."
- Take from 45-90 minutes with a group to discuss any aspect of the organization, from the org as a whole to a single department, program or event.
- Start by allowing people to populate any content with regard to the four questions.
- After the first four columns have been populated, begin to consider and record core issues in the 5th column.
- Keep in mind the four corresponding imperatives to each of the questions. Write these underneath each question: amplify, fix, clarify and add (see the picture below).
- Be ready for some breath-thru clarity
In 2014, Auxano will be offering Paterson's StratOp process for churches. As a non-profit group, we have the largest team of theologically trained, pastor-experienced facilitators in the country. If you would like to learn more, you can request info here.
If you like the results you get from this tool, keep in mind that Tom Paterson, connected this to about 25 other tools that your team can experience in several days together. Not a bad staff retreat experience!