String and Strategy


One of the things I love to do is think of visual ways of processing information.
Our staff is going through a strategic planning process, and one of the goals we have been trying to achieve is to develop a greater sense of collaboration between ministries. I invented a process with string and sticky notes.

I created a PDF form that people could fill out with their top 5 goals. Each box was to have a short sentence describing the goal.
We taped the goals to the wall and then used string and tape to link any goals that were similar or related to one another.
Not only was this a good way to see what goals could work together, but we also got to see what everyone else’s goals were too!
After looking at the string, we took large sticky notes and wrote down the type of event, program, or effort that could contribute towards that goal. For example, if two ministries wanted to “develop volunteers,” one idea could be to have a volunteer training. These large sheets were folded in half and hung from the string.
Square sticky notes were added with names of people who could contribute towards this goal.
In the end, we had a wall full of notes, string, and goals. This was not a final version, by any means! It was a way of processing the information and beginning conversations of ways that staff and ministries could collaborate to create synergy in the efforts.
Afterwards, I snapped a bunch of pictures on my phone and merged them in Photoshop so we could have a record of what was discussed.

Guess it’s not your conventional way of doing strategic planning, but we had fun doing it!

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