For your organization to be successful in achieving greater impact with advocacy, there are four stages that guide my work with organizations and allow for transformative organizational change:
Stage 1: Assessment. Advocacy is a broad term that includes many different strategies. There is no “one size fits all” approach. Each organization is different in terms of where it is starting and ultimately what it wants to accomplish. It’s important to have a clear view of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses before settling on the right strategy, otherwise success and sustainability will be hard to come by.
Outcome : A comprehensive assessment can provide you with a clear snapshot of your organization’s capacity and a confidence for knowing where to focus your goals .
Stage 2: Education: When it comes to this work there are so many fears, barriers and misperceptions that have been created. For most organizations it is important to first establish a solid foundation of understanding before you can begin creating your strategy. Without this often overlooked first step building the necessary internal support from your board and staff can be difficult.
Outcome: Education gets everyone on the same page and establishes Shared Understanding a necessary pre-requisite for moving forward with advocacy
Stage 3: Planning. Once your organization is equipped with this new knowledge and a deeper understanding of where it is starting the next step is to identify some goals and create your strategies along with a blueprint for how to implement them. There are 5 key pivot points we guide organizations through to move their advocacy forward toward sustainability and impact.
Outcome: Planning that builds off of stages 1 and 2 according to our blueprint provides you with a clear and efficient path forward for leveraging impact and organizational assets¨
Stage 4: Leadership Coaching. Advocacy is not just a set of tactics. It’s a values based approach to leadership. Organizations that adopt it as a strategy are often seen as leaders both within their organization and outside. To be successful requires learning and adopting some new behaviors and organizational practices that may feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable at first. These could include working with your board and staff to understand their responsibilities, developing and cultivating stakeholder engagement strategies and developing internal procedures,processes and structures to support the work.
Outcome: Coaching helps organizational leaders learn key behavioral shifts necessary to achieve defined strategies and goals while avoiding overwhelm ¨
If you focus on only 1 of these elements, it is hard to be successful with advocacy. You’ve probably been there. Frustration for you and your organization is bound to result.
When these 4 elements are brought together, your organization will be prepared to create transformative change with and to sustain the results.
If this resonates with you, start by signing up for our free e-book, “10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Leading With Advocacy”
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