Organizing & Strategy

Tornado Warning: Four Roles of Social Change

Here’s a tool to learn about the four roles of social change activists: Helpers, Change Agents, Rebels, and Advocates. It’s goal is to build appreciation of the different roles, gaining empathy for all roles and different approaches to change.

Getting Help: Setting Goals & Using Coaching

Getting help can be hard. It runs counter to many of cultural values: independence, individuality, personal control, self-help, competition, to name a few. Activists tend to focus on skills on help others – but spend less emphasis on our own development. Getting help is necessary. If we are to grow, learn, not burn-out, and win then we need help. In this tool we create some space and time for people to think through how can they continue to learn and get help.

Finding Tactics that Matter

Here is a way to bring out unreflected wisdom about what makes actions effective. Depending on your goals, you may have your own generalization pieces of theory, but a great winner to help kick-start people thinking innovatively about tactics.

Moving Your Allies

This exercise is meant as a follow-up to the Spectrum of Allies exercise. We develop arguments and one specific request to move a given constituency one wedge over to our side. We then roleplay the interaction.

How to Facilitate Street Speaking

Handling fear, practicing leadership development, honing your framing on the streets -- a fantastic, underused tool!

Creating a Menu of Tasks

Going through this exercise can help you identify what tasks are essential to event planning and where there is opportunity for skill-building and leadership development. Follow the questions – when done you can appropriately delegate tasks or volunteer for roles based on a sense of the big picture, as well as the opportunities for skill building.

Aviso de Tornado: Cuatro Roles en el Cambio Social
Esta es una herramienta para aprender los cuatro roles de activistas en el cambio social: grupos de apoyo, agentes de cambio, rebeldes y grupos de incidencia. El objetivo es apreciar los diferentes roles, empatizar con todos los roles y con las diferentes formas de abordar el cambio.
Cómo facilitar charlas en público en la calle

Handling fear, practicing leadership development, honing your framing on the streets -- a fantastic, underused tool!

Encontrando las Tácticas Importantes

Here is a way to bring out unreflected wisdom about what makes actions effective. Depending on your goals, you may have your own generalization pieces of theory, but a great winner to help kick-start people thinking innovatively about tactics.

Creando un Menú de Tareas

Going through this exercise can help you identify what tasks are essential to event planning and where there is opportunity for skill-building and leadership development. Follow the questions – when done you can appropriately delegate tasks or volunteer for roles based on a sense of the big picture, as well as the opportunities for skill building.

Moviendo a tus Aliados/as

This exercise is meant as a follow-up to the Spectrum of Allies exercise. We develop arguments and one specific request to move a given constituency one wedge over to our side. We then roleplay the interaction.

People-Sized Strategy Boardgame

A fun game to support in starting conversations around campaign strategy by playing leapfrog- with a twist!

Action Strategy 101

Here is a way to bring out unreflected wisdom about what makes actions effective.

Action Storming

Here’s a chance to stretch and practice creating new actions or tactics for your organization. It is about creativity. It can also be a chance to apply strategy lessons taught in earlier activities.

What is Strategy: Blanket Tool

A quick exercise to help groups get an example of "What is strategy?" (as opposed to tactics and vision). All that's needed for this tool: a group and a blanket!

Paper Plate Challenge

Campaigns don't win all at once - they win through taking successful steps. Being able to break down the steps towards winning is a key skill for successful strategizing. This tool gives participants challenge and practice in setting stepping stones along the way and sequencing those to lead to a win.

Spectrum of Allies

This approach to strategizing serves bottom-up preferences in building social movements. In Starhawk's terms, it serves power-with rather than power-over, and is inherently democratic.

Strategy Games

In this exercise participants are given a chance to consider strategic responses to a specific scenario. Subgroups take roles and challenge each other to come up with smart strategic choices.

From Tactics to Strategy

A tool to connect many activists favorite topic -- tactics -- with larger questions of strategy. It uses tactical thinking to help connect to larger frameworks for social change.

Macro-Strategy Tug of War

A physical strategy tool: to assist groups in understanding more deeply the internal and external forces that impact their organization's success.

Strategy in an Hour!

"Strategy -- in the face of impending war, financial crises, time crunch, staff changes or despair -- is impossible." Well, I don't think that's true, but certainly lots of us do carry that belief! So here's a one-hour tool that I've used when all of those factors were true! -- maybe it can work for you and your group, too.

Juego de Estrategia

In this exercise participants are given a chance to consider strategic responses to a specific scenario. Subgroups take roles and challenge each other to come up with smart strategic choices.