Improving strategic thinking

Change projects help us look at the world differently and think differently. This calls us to improve our ability to think, individually and collectively.

Guide

Encouraging Strategic Thinking Worksheet

A guide for prompting strategic thinking for organizations.

Jude Kay
Curriculum

Ways of Knowing (Theory of Knowledge)

Here's an academic crash course into some simple concepts that can help us think more strategically.

TOK Resource
Framework

Ladder of Inference: How to Avoid Jumping to Conclusions

This structure may help turn everyday inquiries into decision and actions.

Mindtools
Video

Cognitive Dissonance

Learn about the complex topic of “cognitive dissonance,” and how people deal with it.

Social Psych Online
Report

The Effort Effect

Explore your outlook on “ability.” Can it be developed?

Stanford Magazine
Framework

Growth Mindset Infographic

Explore how our mindsets lead us to certain responses and results.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Tools & Resources

Visioning Toolkit

A helpful toolkit for leaders and consultants with a valuable series of articles and best practices for facilitating visioning with teams and organizations.

Social Transformation Project
Guide

Midwest Academic Strategy Chart

This guide may help you develop strategies to address virtually any organizational issue.

Midwest Academy

Strategic planning

When starting a project with a new team, the first item we always ask for is their strategic plan. The stronger the base of a strategic plan, the stronger a foundation for learning.
Framework

Strategic (And Successful!) Planning

This framework may help optimize your strategic planning process.

Just Works Consulting
Toolkit

Strategy and Planning Toolkit

This toolkit may help you with effective strategic thinking and ultimately with strategic planning.

Rockwood Leadership Institute
Guide

VAST Strategic Campaign Plan Outline

VAST: Vision, Assessment, Strategy, Tactics. This document is helpful in thinking through a strategic campaign plan.

Bending the Arc Strategies
Framework

VAST Integrated Campaign Model

VAST: Vision, Assessment, Strategy, Tactics. A useful model for strategic planning.

Bending the Arc Strategies

Emergent strategies

We are grateful for Adrienne Maree Brown’s work on emergent strategy, and have found it a useful starting point for many projects.
article

Creating Breakout Innovation

Understand why and how to move toward open, crowdsourced, user-driven strategies, also known as co-creation.

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)
Book

Emergent Strategy

Powell’s City of Books

GROW COMMUNITY

Giving thanks: We share these resources with gratitude to all of our teachers and with appreciation for the value they have brought us.

The field guide is a living resource that we are consistently adding to. We receive no payment or kickbacks from contributors for sharing. Access and use of these resources should be done at one’s own discretion.

If you see a resource you like, we strongly encourage you to reach out to the author and support their work in the world through contributions, donations or by hiring them. One goal of this guide is to expand the circle of connections for powerful justice and equity work in the world.
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Have a resource to add? We continue to expand the resources we can share. If you have a tool, resource or link you would like to share through the Field Guide, please email us: research@upwithcommunity.org.

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