- We know more than we can tell
- If you want to change things, then you need to let a thousand flowers bloom —Dave Snowden
- Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy. –Sun Tzu
- Wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking
Back to Basics
In my model of Disability Rights Systems Change, Strategy is a framework for making decisions when the decision processes are clouded by future uncertainty and scarce resources. Ultimately, your strategy is an enacted framework of change design. The change design concerns four arenas of action:
In the language of advocacy, ends are valued outcomes, not simply possible outcomes or most likely outcomes. Advocacy fails if a valued outcome isn’t achieved, even if some other outcome is achieved.
You can think of ways as design paths to change which you try and learn from. The paths can be conceptual, rather than geographic as they might be in a military action.
What tools, resources, and other assets can you use to support your change efforts? In advocacy, there is also a dimension of morality in the use of means, which doesn’t exist in other arenas such as war, politics, and finance. Each effective use of means to change asks a moral question that must be addressed in our advocacy. For example, it wouldn’t be moral to fabricate a lie about the person representing a target in order to disrupt the ability of the target to negotiate effectively.
Because advocacy can develop into long term negotiations with many ups and downs over the course of an advocacy initiative, we need to constantly assess whether our effort is retaining the values and broader advocacy purposes that were part of the initial change effort, or whether we are drifting away from that secure value-driven base.
The next part of this series will explore how FutureStrategy can be made real.