How to create a strategy that actually works.

4 steps to creating a strategy that will turn your dream goal into a reality.

As a Humanist I take problem solving very seriously. I want to accomplish my goals and not just dream about them. I wrote a blog post a little bit back on how to gain clarity of purpose. Today I want to talk about how to create a strategy that will actually work.

Recently I have gotten involved in anti-bullying work as a result of publishing my book – The Bully Vaccine. One of the things I’ve learned and that we all pretty much knew is that schools and teachers and administrators, however well-intentioned they may be, are not well equipped to help kids end bullying. There are some systemic reasons why this happens that I’m not going to get into here.

Suffice it to say that IF we want to help reduce or eliminate bullying, these systemic problems need to be resolved.   Wanting to change the way schools operate as it relates to bullying is a noble goal.  The real question is how we want them to change and what we can do to make sure those changes actually occur. Without a solid strategy we would be working aimlessly.

Deciding on a goal is easy. And most people are pretty good at that. The difference between people who are successful at actually creating the desired change and those who don’t is the ability to create a strategy.

Most people don’t. They just start doing whatever they think will work based on what they assume the problem to be and hope for the best, fail, get discouraged and decide that nothing can be done. Here are the steps to creating a strategy that will work instead.

1)      Laying the Ground Work

Someone who is strategic instead decided on a goal and then does a bit of research. How are things set up right now. Why are they set up that way? What are the goals that drove the system we have right now. Without knowing that – you won’t be able to develop a strategy that works.

2) Research

The next bit of research is to find out what actually works to solve the problem. What doesn’t work and what makes things worse is also important to know so that you can avoid those mistakes when you plan your strategy.   Most people don’t take this step either. They just assume they know and never bother to challenge whether what they think they know is even so. As a result, their strategies fail; they blame others and give up discouraged.

3)   Having a Plan

Once you know what you are dealing with and what you need to do to fix the problem, you can develop a plan, what exactly are the changes that need to be made? What do you want to keep of the old system and what needs to be changed to accommodate the best practices that are known to work.  It is only once you have a plan on what you would like to see happen that you can start to develop a strategy for how to accomplish it.

4) Strategy

Your strategy is the steps you need to take to implement the plan. Who do you need to talk to, who is in charge of the policies that need to be changed, what is the process for creating and implementing those changes. If your strategy has to do with education and disseminating new information, how are you going to disseminate it to the most possible people?

Having a goal is just the beginning. If you want to be successful, you need a solid strategy of how to get there.

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