Strategy 101 | Start with the end in mind

In preparation for what turned out to be a fantastic call yesterday, up in S P A C E, I found the snippet below. It was on Wikipedia, and it is this bit about theory of change.

Here it is.

‘Theory of Change begins by first working out program goals or desired impact and working backwards on outcome pathways, rather than engaging in conventional forward oriented “so-that” reasoning.

‘As an example of “so-that” reasoning: a grantee decides to increase media coverage on the lack of health insurance among children so that public awareness increases so that policymakers increase their knowledge and interest so that policies change so that more children have health insurance.

‘In Theory of Change, by contrast, the group begins not with its intervention but with its long-term goal and outcomes and then works backward (in time) toward the earliest changes that need to occur. Only when the pathway has been developed is it time to consider which interventions will best produce the outcomes in the pathway.’


Design is strategy, strategy is design

Okay, maybe that is oversimplifying. Still, both of these involve thinking about the outcomes, first.

All the reading of the Wikipedia stuff reminded me of the book Strategy Maps, given to me by BB, our then-strategy consultant, in Seattle. It was 2007.

This was a trade.

This was our first year in operation.

This was, too, a time when DK was young and figuring itself out. I remember the outcome we envisioned, way back then.

So good to have stayed on course, all this time.


The end: visualizing what you want can make it manifest

A mood board is one way. So is reflecting, carefully, on ‘What do I actually want to see?’ Have a clear visual of what it is you want as an imagined goal. This can do amazing things. A picture of success that’s shared truly matters in the big picture work of get people aligned. We’ve helped lots of people work on this. Together, or individually. The key is making time to investigate it. Query. Explore. Then wait til you see it, and plan for that. 

This reminds me of a phrase… Start with the End in Mind. Was that Stephen Covey?

Ah, yes.

Habit number 2…



Starting with the end, and figuring out how to figure it out

How do you get to done? Know where you’re headed, for one. I am reading and writing about the topic of life, purpose, meaning, and shifts when you decide to redirect your compass.

This is a series of ongoing pieces of personal investigation into the massive question, ‘Who am I?’.

Here’s my opinion, now. I can write it comfortably here since this is my blog, and stuff. I know. Long story short, being in Viet Nam for two years (pandemic 2020-21) made me really check myself on the whole thing that we do, in the US, when it comes to casually opining, lol. But yeah. This is my thought. Metaphorical plates (about ideology and philosophy may) shift beneath us, constantly in a set of circumstances that have little to do with what we think, feel, or believe. Rather, these plates that continuously shift, and their shifting nature, are the facts of a shifting, ever-so-subtly, of realities themselves. Plural. Think about it. Society of the Spectacle, the hijacking of real life, the streams of illusions. It’s all there.

So yeah. What are we, who are we? In the soup of all this, surely, this isn’t easy to figure out. But we can take it step by step. The beginning of strategy is starting with the end in mind.

The link I put there, above, to DK’s blog post on it, that is another take on that.

The link above is: ‘Who am I?’.