2016 Planning, Experiments, Updates
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What’s New on the STP Network Support Site, No. 5

2016 Planning Update

We’re nearly done designing a loose framework around network planning for next year. STP has two challenges. First, its participants are tremendously busy, more so than average because many of them are executive directors of their organizations. Second, much of its work over the past six years has largely been siloed in small groups. People identify more with these small groups than with the network as a whole.

We’re going to try to shift this next year in a few ways. First, we want to acknowledge and build upon the small group work that’s already happened. There are several meetings already scheduled next year, and we hope to start opening up people’s thinking at those meetings. We will also link the different design teams for these meetings into a larger design team for the overall network.

Second, the network-wide design team will be open and permeable. Anyone who wants to participate will be able to participate. We hope to get about 15 people, and if we can regularly get two-thirds of that group participating in design conversations, we’ll be doing great.

To support that openness and permeability, we cannot be overly dependent on meetings and phone calls. We need to have other ways in which people can participate. How we tell the ongoing story and how we create entry and exit points for people will be critical.

Part of how we’re going to do that is to have people talk to each other as much as possible in pairs and maybe slightly larger groups. We won’t require that everybody be on the same phone call. The support team will have to really be on its game in terms of synthesizing, integrating, and reflecting back in order for this to work.

Next week, we’ll align around what we mean when we say, “systemic analysis,” and we’ll try to nail down some final details before wrapping up this iteration of the planning process.

Experiment Update

In other news, we’ve completed three experiments! STP staff has been not only hard workers but courageous and graceful in navigating and reshaping their current internal practices.

Check out the lessons learned from Log It or Lose it, our experiment relating to tracking decisions and next steps from meetings. The experiment was wildly successful, and STP staff decided to make it the norm, integrating it fully into their work moving forward.

One quote the demonstrates significance of this experiment as well as how it connects with the Your Plate, My Plate, Sharing Dessert experiment:

“This feel like an important next step for us as an organization. I see both how it will help us work more efficiently and interconnectedly as well as help in places we have had some bumps. It requires a huge amount of slowing down, and this will take some getting use to. I think it will shine a light on issues of capacity.”

This week marked the end of My Plate, Your Plate, Sharing Dessert. Stay tuned for lessons learned and the design of three new experiments next week that continue to examine STP’s internal processes.

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