Hi Aubrey,

Thanks for passing that along.

As it turns out, we spent some time at the NYPL talking about strategy at
the Board retreat this November. The Board sat down with Tony Ageh, their
new Chief Digital Officer, to have an informal conversation about how
Wikimedia, the NYPL, and other organizations can continuously reinvigorate
their mission as their medium, audience, and purposes evolve. We didn't
talk about the process from that article specifically (Tony wasn't there in
2014) but more about forward-looking work. Speaking for myself, it was an
interesting conversation full of relevant historical analogies, set in a
memorable venue (the reading room).

I look forward to reading the article in full.

Cheers,
Katherine


On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 01:54 Andrea Zanni <zanni.andre...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Katherine, thanks for the email.
>
>
>
> Regarding the external expert for inclusive process you are looking for,
>
> maybe this article is of help:
>
> https://hbr.org/2016/12/how-employees-shaped-strategy-at-the
> -new-york-public-library
>
>
>
> I'm posting here for everyone to see because I think is interesting for
>
> everybody to understand
>
> how other (similar?) communities do innovation and shape their strategy.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
>
>
> Aubrey
>
>
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 3:42 AM, Katherine Maher <kma...@wikimedia.org>
>
> wrote:
>
>
>
> > *(Apologies for cross posting)*
>
> >
>
> > Hi all,
>
> >
>
> > Since joining the Wikimedia Foundation and movement in 2014, I have often
>
> > heard community members, movement organizations, and staff members speak
> of
>
> > a need for a clear, unifying, and inspirational strategic direction for
> our
>
> > movement. These conversations tend to follow a pattern: they start by
>
> > recognizing the incredible work of our movement over the past 15 years,
>
> > while seeking clarity on what we do next. What do we want to achieve over
>
> > the next 15 years? What role do we want to play in the world? How will we
>
> > prioritize our work and resources?
>
> >
>
> > At the June 2016 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board identified[1] the
>
> > development of a long-term movement strategy as one of our top priorities
>
> > for the coming year. Coming to consensus on a long-term strategic
> direction
>
> > will help us know where we are headed, which path we will take, and how
> we
>
> > will ensure our work is supported.
>
> >
>
> > At the Foundation’s December metrics meeting this morning, Anna Stillwell
>
> > and Lisa Gruwell shared a presentation on the work the Foundation has
> done
>
> > since June to prepare for a movement strategy consultation in the coming
>
> > year.[2] We have been working to understand past Wikimedia strategy
>
> > efforts, estimate future budgets and timelines, and secure resources for
>
> > the year to come. In this email, I want to present some additional detail
>
> > on this progress, and next steps we can take together.
>
> >
>
> > (*Fair warning: this is a very long email.* The critical information is
> as
>
> > follows: The Wikimedia Foundation Board has approved a spending
> resolution
>
> > and timeline for the upcoming strategy work. We anticipate beginning
> broad
>
> > community conversations on the process, goals, and themes in early 2017.
>
> > The Foundation is looking for an external expert to work with us
> (community
>
> > and staff) to support an effective, inclusive process. I’ve been remiss
> in
>
> > regular updates, but we will share them going forward. And of course,
>
> > please share your thoughts and feedback on this list and on Meta [3].)
>
> >
>
> >
>
> > *Strategic direction*
>
> > We are expecting that we will begin a movement-wide strategy discussion
> in
>
> > early 2017, with a process that runs throughout the year. The goal is to
>
> > close 2017 with clarity and consensus on a strategic direction for our
>
> > movement, and begin planning for how we will make progress in that
>
> > direction.
>
> >
>
> > We are currently doing good work across our movement, but lack a unifying
>
> > sense of how that work coheres into something greater than its individual
>
> > parts. Wikipedia and the sister projects are remarkable, and our
> community
>
> > is responsible for their success. Our movement has done an incredible job
>
> > spreading our values and principles around the world—but we often look
>
> > backwards to improve on our past, rather than looking fully at both our
>
> > past and future. There’s an opportunity for us to consider how our vision
>
> > and mission will remain current amidst changing media, demographics, and
>
> > technology, and how we can better coalesce our efforts (ecosystem of
>
> > affiliates, users, experts, new users, cultural and educational
>
> > institutions, and the Wikimedia Foundation).
>
> >
>
> > Additionally, we (community, affiliates, Board, and staff) are
> increasingly
>
> > aware of the challenges which arise without a unified movement strategy.
> We
>
> > have heard from members of the FDC, grant applicants, community leaders,
>
> > and a growing number of affiliates that they at times struggle with
>
> > understanding how our separate efforts tie together and where we are
> going
>
> > as an overall movement. The absence of a movement strategy, in other
> words,
>
> > is hampering our ability to work toward our mission. Given the importance
>
> > of that mission, and the need to hold ourselves to the highest account on
>
> > responsible stewardship of donor resources, this is an expensive
>
> > opportunity cost.
>
> >
>
> > *Budget*
>
> >
>
> > At the June Board meeting, I committed to develop a proposed process and
>
> > budget in time for the Board’s annual November Board retreat. This
> process
>
> > would reflect the type of approach we might take, and be accompanied by
> an
>
> > estimated budget for the associated work.
>
> >
>
> > To prepare, we wanted to understand past efforts at developing strategies
>
> > for our movement. We audited these past processes (2010, 2012/Narrowing
>
> > Focus, 2014, and some other efforts) and interviewed past participants to
>
> > learn what worked and what did not,[4] and took stock of what was
>
> > missing—from external expertise to audience research—to clear ownership
> of
>
> > outcomes.
>
> >
>
> > We recognized that, for example, while the 2010 process was highly
>
> > collaborative, it had some notable challenges. For example, it was unable
>
> > to turn collaborative goal setting into shared ownership of the work
> needed
>
> > to reach those goals. It also did not have strong participation from
>
> > emerging communities, particularly those in countries outside of Europe
> and
>
> > North America. For movement planning to succeed in the future, we will
> need
>
> > both broad and deep participation, from various perspectives and
> languages.
>
> > To consider how we could realize this level of meaningful consultation,
> we
>
> > spoke to people in the Foundation’s Community Engagement team and
>
> > elsewhere, taking recommendations on everything from community toolkits
> and
>
> > convenings to multilingual translation.
>
> >
>
> > Past processes have also often focused on qualitative perspectives,
> usually
>
> > of our existing communities of editors and readers. We have had limited
>
> > ways of understanding how broadly representative these experiences,
> needs,
>
> > and challenges were, even for our existing communities. We have tens of
>
> > thousands of editors, but even in our most collaborative effort in 2010,
>
> > only 2,000 people contributed to the strategic discussions. Similarly, we
>
> > have limited research about why and how people around the world use and
>
> > engage with the Wikimedia projects as non-editors—and our understanding
>
> > about what keeps people from using the projects, as editors or
> non-editors,
>
> > is highly qualitative.
>
> >
>
> > As we engage in the consultation going forward, we see an opportunity to
>
> > bring substantive audience-based research into our discussion, to inform
>
> > our possibilities and challenges with good data. We worked with the
> Global
>
> > Reach team, and staff from the New Readers and Audience Research projects
>
> > to scope out qualitative and quantitative audience research in new,
>
> > emerging, and existing editor and reader communities, and estimate
>
> > associated budgets. And while we see this as an exciting opportunity to
>
> > incorporate new data into our conversations, we also expect it to have
>
> > lasting value beyond the coming year. Good audience research and data
> will
>
> > help inform not just strategy discussions, but also should be helpful for
>
> > Foundation and other product and programming decisions now and in the
>
> > future.
>
> >
>
> > And of course, we are not alone in the world! We exist in an ecosystem of
>
> > people who use, reuse, and remix the knowledge on the Wikimedia projects
> in
>
> > all sorts of ways. We have a strong and growing community of institutions
>
> > and partners in education, government, culture, and the sciences. We also
>
> > have many technical partners and re-users who have a vested interest in
> our
>
> > health. These stakeholders offer valuable insight into how our work
> extends
>
> > into the world, well beyond the sites we run. We want to talk to them,
>
> > understand the opportunities they see in the future, and the challenges
>
> > they face today. We want to speak to people working at the edge of
>
> > innovation in technology, to better understand how these trends affect
> our
>
> > future, and to engage them in our mission.
>
> >
>
> > And last, but certainly not least, these discussions, collaborations, and
>
> > conclusions need to be open and consultative. We want to work together to
>
> > design a process of consultation, with opportunities for on-wiki
>
> > conversation, face to face meetings, working groups, and more. In some
>
> > cases, this may mean new conversations, and in others, we may want to
> bring
>
> > additional capacity and participation to already scheduled community
>
> > events. We will need additional resources for multilingual facilitation,
> or
>
> > documentation. We will also need additional capacity to support these
>
> > discussions, so that community and staff alike can retain their focus on
>
> > the programs, grants, and product work to which they have committed.
>
> >
>
> > We want to bring this to life. But before we could commit to this
> approach,
>
> > we needed to be sure we could assemble the appropriate resources to make
> it
>
> > happen. Based on our research into past processes, best practices, and
>
> > conversations with community and staff—we built a high-level estimated
>
> > budget with resources for the following: inclusive, multilingual
> community
>
> > consultation on-wiki and in-person; research into our users, new users,
> and
>
> > consultation with external experts and stakeholders; and additional
>
> > external capacity for management and production of the process. All in,
> we
>
> > estimate that the full scope of work over 1.5 years will cost somewhere
>
> > around US$2.5 million. This is divided out roughly as 35% support for
>
> > direct community participation, 35% support for audience research and
>
> > understanding external ecosystems, and 30% support for facilitation and
>
> > external support.
>
> >
>
> > I know this sounds like a lot! As we break it down into budget lines, it
>
> > starts to become more tangible. This estimated budget was developed in
>
> > close consultation with the Community Engagement, Global Reach, and
> Finance
>
> > teams. We worked with the Community Engagement team to use their models
> for
>
> > community events and facilitation to budget for additional support and
>
> > participation in community events. We worked with the Global Reach team
> to
>
> > estimate the costs of qualitative and quantitative research around the
>
> > world. And we worked with the Finance teams to understand hourly rates
> for
>
> > non-profit strategic consultancies (finding that, even with non-profit
>
> > organizations our commitment to meaningful consultation quickly added
> many
>
> > hours to our planning).
>
> >
>
> > An overview of this budget estimate was presented to the Board at the 13
>
> > November Board meeting. There the Board approved a spending resolution of
>
> > up to $2.5 million over Fiscal Year 2016-17 (July 2016 - June 2017) and
>
> > Fiscal Year 2017-18 (July 2017 - June 2018). We are currently working to
>
> > migrate this proposed budget into a format similar to the one we use for
>
> > Annual Planning, for the purpose of consistency and clarity of review.
> This
>
> > detailed budget, tied to specific events, contracts, and research areas,
>
> > will be shared with to the Foundation Board’s Audit Committee[5], and
> with
>
> > the greater communities for feedback.
>
> >
>
> > *Assembling a team*
>
> >
>
> > To increase our likelihood of success, we want to bring additional
> capacity
>
> > and expertise to the table. No single Wikimedia Foundation department or
>
> > Wikimedia movement affiliate currently has the complete skillset or
>
> > available capacity to independently manage a strategy process of this
> size
>
> > and scale. Our goal is to find an external entity with experience in
>
> > organizational or movement strategies to help move us all (affiliates,
>
> > current users, new users, experts, cultural and educational institutions,
>
> > community committees, and Wikimedia Foundation) toward collaborative
>
> > development of a movement strategy, and assembling a team to support this
>
> > process.
>
> >
>
> > Practically, this means finding an entity capable of recommending a
>
> > strategic approach, identifying necessary inputs (e.g., user research or
>
> > sector mapping) to inform meaningful consultation and decision making,
>
> > making timely process against deadlines, and helping ensure the delivery
> of
>
> > the final work. We’re referring to this role as the “lead architect,”
>
> > although it is likely to be a team, rather than an individual.
>
> >
>
> > We recognize that several individuals in our community already possess
>
> > significant expertise in strategic planning, and we hope you will
>
> > contribute your talents to the shape and content of the discussion. We
> also
>
> > recognize it can be difficult to both facilitate a conversation and
>
> > contribute to it at the same time. To help alleviate procedural and
>
> > operational pressures on community contributors, and enable people to
>
> > participate in primarily strategic and generative roles, we expect the
> lead
>
> > architect and team will work closely with existing community and staff
>
> > liaisons and advocates to support discussions as facilitators. They will
> be
>
> > expected to support any community and Wikimedia Foundation bodies
> involved
>
> > in the development of strategy.
>
> >
>
> > Last month, I asked Lisa Gruwell, Anna Stillwell, and Guillaume Paumier
> to
>
> > begin a search for this external capacity. They spoke with a number of
>
> > smaller organizations—a deliberate choice, to find someone who could be
>
> > flexible and open to our needs—and put together a request for proposal
>
> > (RFP) for interested firms. The minimal criteria for the lead architect
> is
>
> > someone who:
>
> >
>
> >    - Has created successful strategies before (organizational or movement
>
> >    strategies, rather than just a strategy for a department, a program,
> or
>
> > a
>
> >    product)
>
> >    - Has proposed a coherent outcome and understands the need to build an
>
> >    incredibly inclusive process
>
> >    - Is willing to be paired with a full-time partner/advisor who knows
> the
>
> >    movement well
>
> >    - Has significant nonprofit experience
>
> >    - Has significant international experience
>
> >    - Understands that Wikimedia communities are passionate! There will be
>
> >    an occasional raucous[6] debate. They must be willing and able to have
>
> >    difficult conversations (difficult in substance, but not in tone).
>
> >
>
> > Although we spoke to many firms that were interested, some were unable to
>
> > mobilize resources on our timeline. Others we didn’t feel were the right
>
> > fit. In the end, we received two viable responses. We are hoping to make
> a
>
> > decision by the end of this or next week.
>
> >
>
> > We recognize that our movement, mission, and culture are wonderfully
>
> > idiosyncratic. While we know we need external skills in the area of
>
> > movement strategies, we also know that any external organization will
> need
>
> > extensive support understanding our movement values, culture, history,
> and
>
> > projects.
>
> >
>
> > We are proposing pairing any external consultants with community and
> staff
>
> > members who have deep community experience as guides, translators, and
>
> > mentors. We don’t know exactly how we will work yet, or who will be
>
> > interested in playing these roles. This is one question of many we will
>
> > need to answer together.
>
> >
>
> > *Next steps*
>
> >
>
> > All the resource and planning progress in the world doesn’t get us far
>
> > without community conversation. Beyond the budget, the decision to bring
> in
>
> > additional expertise, and the timeline of the coming year,  we don’t have
>
> > many more concrete details at this point. That’s intentional. We are
>
> > committed to developing the specifics in partnership with you as we move
>
> > forward.
>
> >
>
> > We also recognize we are embarking on something new. We’re proposing a
>
> > model that, while based on research, past experience, extensive
>
> > conversations, and a detailed budget—may not be perfect. We welcome the
>
> > ideas you bring to make it stronger. We anticipate we will work in the
>
> > open, communicate among ourselves regularly, pause along the way to
> assess
>
> > our progress, and course-correct as necessary. This will be part of
>
> > building together.
>
> >
>
> > Additionally, we’ll be providing regular documentation via email, and
>
> > adding it to Meta-Wiki.[7] If you would like to receive updates via your
>
> > user talk page, you can do so by signing up on Meta-Wiki.[8]
>
> >
>
> > If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. I imagine this is the
>
> > start of many conversations. I look forward to them.
>
> >
>
> > Thank you!
>
> > Katherine
>
> >
>
> >
>
> > PS. An on-wiki version of this message is available for translation:
>
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_
>
> > movement/2017/Updates/15_December_2016_-_Update_1_on_
>
> > Wikimedia_movement_strategy_process
>
> >
>
> > [1] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-
>
> > June/084627.html
>
> > [2]
>
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_
>
> > metrics_and_activities_meetings/2016-12
>
> > [3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017
>
> > [4]
>
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_
>
> > movement/2017/Audit_of_past_strategy_processes
>
> > [5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Audit_Committee
>
> > [6] https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/raucous
>
> > [7] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017
>
> > [8]
>
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_
>
> > movement/2017/Updates/Signup
>
> >
>
> > --
>
> > Katherine Maher
>
> >
>
> > Wikimedia Foundation
>
> > 149 New Montgomery Street
>
> > San Francisco, CA 94105
>
> >
>
> > +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635 <(415)%20839-6885>
>
> > +1 (415) 712 4873 <(415)%20712-4873>
>
> > kma...@wikimedia.org
>
> > _______________________________________________
>
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>
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>
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