CNVC Strategic Planning Com.html
CNVC Strategic Planning Committee Recommendations to the Board of Directors
February 11, 2004
These recommendations are the results of questionnaires, in-person meetings and a series of phone calls led by the efforts of the Strategic Planning Committee from February 25, 2003 to February 3, 2004.
The people who have been members of this committee at different points over time are (in alphabetical order): Gary Baran, Dominic Barter, Thom Bond, Tom Caruso, Alex Censor, Jane Connor, Marika Havraniak, Rita Herzog, Miki Kashtan, Shari Klein, Barbara Larson, Mary Mackenzie, Lynn McMullen, Kit Miller, John Nicol, Hema Pokharma, Eva Rambala, and Martha Young.
Part I: Summary of Process1. In the months preceding the Munich convention, the group met every other week for 75 minutes in conference call. During this time we recognized a need for more inclusion and input. To meet this need, we created a questionnaire for soliciting input from the network about CNVCâ€™s strategic directions.2. We distributed the questionnaire (copy included with this report) within the network, including translating it into French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. The method of distribution was email lists and personal emails. Our goal was twofold: to generate conversations within the network, and to receive input. Here are some statistics about the questionnaire:
Participants in the survey included the following: 1 person from each of the following countries: Denmark, Norway, Germany, Canada, Colombia, France. 2 people from S. Africa, 3 people from UK. Responses were sent from some people on the Dutch team, and from 38 people from the French-speaking network. 14 individuals from various parts of US participated.
Additionally, 25 people attended sessions on strategic planning at the NVC convention in September 2003. Participants were mainly from Northern European countries.
The group also utilized results from a visioning process held during the January, 2003 CNVC board meeting, which included some people on staff, board volunteers and observers attending the meeting.
3. Between September and November of 2003, we continued to meet every other week for 75 minutes. During these meetings we reviewed responses from the questionnaire, and discussed emerging themes we saw across many of them.
4. Please note that the responses from the French-speaking team were received just this week and thus were not integrated into the above discussions, though some themes do repeat. We recommend that the staff and board consider the report from the French team, which took several days for that group to translate and compile, as a unique opportunity to connect with the needs of a group in the network that often feels disconnected, due in part to language and cultural issues. We request that any decisions made by the staff and board regarding this process be made only after having read and discussed this report.
Below is a list of the themes we identified in terms of peopleâ€™s vision for CNVC:
a. Global community: gatherings, virtual communities; structures that include people from all areas of the world.
b. Free or low cost access to training.
c. Contacts and trainings at UN, proposed US Dept of Peace.
d. Arab/Israeli conflict resolved thru process.
e. Having an empathy presence widely available in the world (empathy corps, neighborhood empathy person, empathy hotline)
Below is the list of themes we identified in terms of peopleâ€™s suggestions for specific strategies to employ:
f. Spread nvc through schools and teachers
g. Use of mass media (esp TV); NVC magazine is being mentioned, newsletter and contributions of people to it.
h. Use of Marshall's time-less running around!!!
i. Strategic use of IITs for community building, resource generation
Below is a list of additional comments, observations, and visions for the future which were common but not as universal as the previous ones:
j. How do we let people know about what is going on in CNVC?
k. Observation that people do not know much about CNVC who are attending trainings.
l. Certification process is seen as being too expensive, complicated, and unnecessarily lengthy.
m. Consider and embrace radically different ideas about use of money
n. Need for research, case studies and scientific documentation of NVC
o. Suggestion re changing the name of NVC and maybe making it acceptable in different cultures.
p. A lot of interest in and pain about a perceived North American organization trying to build trust with other parts of the world.
q. Some people expressed a desire for well-paid professional structures, while others expressed a desire for a virtual organization, or saw no need for the organization to exist.
r. A vision of NVC as a household item, becoming common, widespread, and integrated into our lives.
s. A vision of NVC being perceived as a whole life style, not just a self-help category.
t. A vision of NVC as being readily accessible.u. A vision of community, actual physical communities of people with interest in NVC use in their communities.
5. In parallel with this activity, we also explored the question of organizational structure following the mandate we received at Munich to review the various proposals and recommend steps to the board. As part of this discussion we invited Drusilla Copeland and Tom Atlee to two of our conversations. Our hope was to gain from their wisdom about processes that elicit participation and wisdom in a group. Drusilla described to us the process of Future Search, and Tom discussed with us an approach he calls Citizen Deliberative Councils. Both approaches aim to bring a group, organization, or larger entity together through careful representation. In one (Future Search), a design committee selects specific groups and individuals to invite so all stakeholders are present. Then a specific process is used to reach decisions within the resulting group, usually 64 in size. In the other (Citizen Deliberative Councils), the essential ingredient is random selection, and small size of group, usually around two dozen. A variety of sub-forms exist depending on the purpose for bringing the group together. It is the opinion of the Strategic Planning Committee that neither of these approaches would fit for the purposes we have without modifications and customizations.
6. In the final weeks before the February board meeting, our group discussed what recommendations we would like to make to the board.
Part II: Needs and RecommendationsBelow is the list of actions we recommend the board approve taking. In making these recommendations, we are seeking to meet the following needs of the organization, as we understand them and are aware of them:
1. Effectiveness; the capacity to move forward and take action.
2. Responsiveness to input, e.g. paying attention to, and supporting the effort people made in responding to the questionnaires.
3. Inclusion and participation; having confidence that the organization is truly acting on behalf of those it serves.
4. Integrity, moving closer towards living the values we teach.
5. Diversity, integrating the needs and perspectives of people and cultures both outside Europe and North America, and those marginalized within those countries.
6. Connection within the network (both between the Center and local teams, and amongst individuals and teams within the network).
To balance these needs, we are offering a set of recommendations that we hope will support the organization in being able to create and implement an initial plan based on the themes without waiting for any further involvement from the network, while at the same time creating structures for further participation and involvement in decision making, most especially about the decision-making process itself. It is with hope and humility that we present the following recommendations, out of our deep love for the process we teach and our faith in its potential to transform the world we live in.
1. We recommend that Gary Baran as Executive Director of CNVC write an initial strategic plan for the organization based on careful study of the themes identified in the questionnaires. We further recommend that the board study those themes during its upcoming meeting, and advise Gary on initial directions for this strategic plan.
So that the implementation of the plan can proceed swiftly, we recommend that Gary present a draft of the plan for review to the Strategic Planning Committee by April 15th, and that Gary and the committee complete the plan for board review and approval by May 15th. This plan will be in effect for 18 months from its start.
2. We recommend that at every large in-person gathering starting with the next NVC Convention (currently estimated to take place in August 2005), a certain amount of time (at least a day) be set aside for all present to participate in strategic planning for the organization. This includes explicit review of existing decision-making structures as well as existing strategic plan, and recommendations for changes or additions to those. During this time the board would present verbally and in writing (in several languages) the existing decision-making structure and strategic direction of the organization, the issues they see the organization facing, and the questions board members would like the gathering to grapple with.
For the coming NVC convention, which is the first time that this process would be used, the board would present in more detail the existing decision-making structure and the problems they see with this structure. For example: Who decides which projects get funded? Who determines what the office will do or not? Who decides on guidelines for how people become part of the network?
3. We recommend that the board adopt a policy of committing to an annual broad-based in-person review of the process of decision-making and the general direction of the organization in the network. We further recommend that the outcome of such a gathering be recommendations to the Executive Director for the next period of time until the following review time.
We recommend that the board set aside some funds to ensure adequate representation from all countries in the network, especially Third World citizens and all others lacking financial means to be present.
4. In addition to large gatherings such as NVC conventions, we recommend that the board devise ways for soliciting input and feedback from people who are not and/or cannot be present at such gatherings, so that input from the network is maximized and not limited to those who can be present. Examples include arranging conference calls for trainers or project leaders; phone or in-person meetings of more local groupings, to continue exploring issues presented to the network; periodic questionnaires such as the one we recently distributed; discussions during smaller gatherings such as IITs; and other approaches which may arise with time.
5. We recommend that the board constitute an ongoing committee responsible for monitoring the implementation of the various recommendations in terms of meeting the above-mentioned needs, and to recommend processes and structures to continue to meet those needs better. In particular, this committee will have as one of its early functions to design the process to be used during the next NVC convention to deliberate on the strategic plan and on decision-making structures. In addition, this committee will continue to examine ways to get better at receiving input with regards to decisions, such that those providing input can recognize that their efforts are recognized and their input is considered whether or not their suggestions are accepted.
We recommend that explicit consideration and procedures be adopted to ensure a much wider geographic representation on this committee that we have had so far. We further recommend that the board allocate funding to arrange for a yearly in-person meeting of the committee itself. It was our experience that spending 75-90 minutes on the phone did not create sufficient spaciousness, trust, and synergy to move towards our goals with the speed and effectiveness we all wished for.
6. Our final recommendation is that the board adopt policies designed to increase cultural, racial, geographic, and other diversity in decision-making in the organization. For example, we have considered, without reaching consensus, adopting strategies such as the one currently employed by the Nonviolent Peaceforce, whose governing board is constituted with strict adherence to regional representation. Although we did not reach consensus on a specific strategy, we all shared a desire to find concrete form to the commitment to diversity.