Process and Timespan
I wouldn't try to create a movement-wide strategy for 2016. We're already two months in, and developing the kind of shared understanding necessary for this will take time. What I think would be most useful would be to:
- Establish long-term (e.g. 5, 10, or even 20 year) priorities
- Develop muscles for acting strategically. This will allow individuals and groups to quickly develop and adapt strategies in the short-term that will help the movement achieve its long-term priorities
- Do strategy and culture work at the same time. (I've blogged about the interrelationship between the two.)
- My thoughts:
- Priorities are needed. Short-term ones can be found in existing discussions (some of the individual project-strategies listed at the bottom of the page). Longer term ones are missing; there are many grand possible visions, but rarely prioritized. Perhaps articulating each vision into a more concrete 10-year arc can be done separately from prioritizing them.
- What do those muscles look like? Examples would help.
- What does culture work for the movement look like? What sorts of cultural development do we want, need; a spectrum of examples may also help here.
- Examples of strategic "muscles":
- Asking generative questions. Good strategic thinking is a process of inquiry, of asking and exploring good, strategic questions. Generative questions are open-ended. They encourage broad, critical thinking. Thinking in questions (versus debating options) is a muscle that you can develop with practice. A simple example of a critical generative question is, "Why?" Another one is, "How much?" A good strategy helps you make clear choices.
- Acting intentionally. You should be able to explain every action with your theory of how that will help the movement achieve its broader goals.
- Listening actively. In order to converge on a high-quality movement-wide strategy, we must get really good at listening to each other. Diversity leads to higher-quality, but it's also harder to understand each other when we have diversity. Listening, as with the above examples, is absolutely a practice. Everyone can get better at it with repetition, intentionality, and feedback.
- Culture work is the act of getting clear and precise about who we (the movement) wants to be and what that means in practice. WMF has articulated a set of values, which includes things like "transparency" and "community is our biggest asset." What do those things mean in practice? How can we support each other into living into these values?
- I think this is particularly important for this community, because I see it falling into a common trap: Focusing on structural solutions when cultural solutions are better suited. They're more sustainable and resilient. High-trust communities can get away with less structure, which has lots of ancillary benefit. But you have to invest in that trust. That's a big part of culture work.
- --Eekim (talk) 07:35, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
- Examples of strategic "muscles":
Lessons from Wikimedia IL Process?
- What were your goals going into it?
- How did the process go?
- What went well?
- What could have been improved?
- What were the outcomes?
All in 50 words or less, please. ;-) Seriously, I know these are pretty big questions, so any thoughts — even high level ones — you could share would be wonderful. Would love to learn! --Eekim (talk) 15:35, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Movement structures, spaces for discussion and decision
It's worth making separate space for a few layers outside what are often thought of as 'strategic topics'
- Project ideas such as Strategy project and New project proposals, for a continuous approach to reviewing ideas and tactics;
- Movement structure proposals, such as the various Community Council ideas, or alternative models of self-organization (from affiliates to Wikiprojects).
- Ideas for socializing, forming connections, and maintaining group of practice and discussion.
- To me, it looks more like:
- What are the long-term goals of the movement, where we want to be in 10 or 20 years from now (random example of such goal, does not suppose to be real or optimum: drastically increase coverage of African topics)
- What are actions needed to achieve these goals (supporting GLAM organizations in Africa)
- What do we need to do to make sure these actions are undertaken (hire liasons with African background; reach out).--Ymblanter (talk) 16:21, 27 February 2016 (UTC)
- I would consider these "core strategic decisions". That's more important than what I wrote above. I created this section to note a few related topics that often fall through the cracks. –SJ talk 22:45, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
What we do better than nearly all others is multilingual open content of amazing breadth and depth. We can become more multi lingual. We can develop greater breadth and greater depth. We can branch out more into other formats such as video (that is harder to develop collaboratively but can be develop by working with external partners). We can work to improve the quality of our existing content. The market for superficial content is being gobbled up by others. I think we should concentrate on the former rather than the latter.