With a group
of people and a facilitator, such as in a workshop, record participants’
needs, desires and even concerns. If a lot of issues and problems
are listed, work on turning the negative statements into positive
ones. Be sure everything is recorded exactly as the speaker intended
and is posted for all to see and read.
2. Refine, refine,
Work with the
group to sort through and focus the ideas, i.e., group ideas that
are similar under one theme. Systematically mark or label each idea
so that no one’s thoughts appear to be disregarded. If one idea
or issue does not fit into any of the themes, and the group decides
it is not viable enough to become its own category, check back with
the original speaker to further discuss the idea or to make sure
he or she agrees with the group’s decision.
For each summary
heading, begin creating statements that capture the ideas. The statements
should be in terms of directions and destinations: what do you hope
to achieve? Remember, goals are not visions; they should be statements
of what can realistically be accomplished.
this step, depending upon the size of the group, it may be easier
and more productive to divide into smaller groups having one small
group per theme.
3. Develop a
Once there are
goals written for all of the themes, review them together as a group.
Each statement should embrace the direction and potential actions
that the entire group desires to take. There may be a lot of focus
on single words, or making subtle changes, but this is important
to the process. Everyone should be comfortable with what is said
and how it is said.
the situation and the developed goals, you may want to prioritize
goals based on resources (human, environmental, or financial), external
threats or pressures such as pending legislation or an upcoming
planning meeting or timing if some goals are long-term and others