Strategy Day 14th April 2012

Equality NW Strategy Day - 14th April 2012


1. Expectations for the day, accountability and self-interest

  • Discussed fears, hopes, expectations for the day, introduced ourselves, discussed accountability and self interest and how they interrelate.
  • Self-interest as motivations, values, what drives people forward and how these interests are often driven by our lines of accountability
  • Shared or broad self-interest rather than narrow self-interest as key to effective relationship building both within the group and in trying to influence others.
  • To identify shared self interest we first need to be clear about our own self-interest.




2. Overview of the afternoon

Sophie gave some background as to why the strategy day had come about. Ideas developed during the last Equality NW meeting, and then through a small planning group. A draft programme was sent round to other members for agreement in advance.




3. Reflection on how to work well together

The thinking behind this exercise was to come up with a practical list of actions that could be taken or processes introduced to improve group effectiveness and communication.


The group decided they didn’t want to spend time taking this reflection further than the notes on the left because the group already works well enough and some of the other problems will be resolved with time as the group becomes more action-focused. 


One or two action points were agreed however and Sophie agreed to give some ideas for later reflection with the record of the day, which are provided below.


  • Consolidate web presence into NatCAN website and Joe to email mailing list with instructions on how to join.
  • Political debates between members to take place through this forum.
  • Come to an agreement about respectful verbal and body language – not clear how this to be communicated / shared – begin meetings with a reminder of this?
  • Social gatherings for team-building


Chairing meetings / leadership styles

Rotate responsibility for chairing meetings around group members allows different leadership styles and shared responsibility for ensuring progress is made.


Irregular attendance

Buddying system so that everyone has a partner who they stay in touch with between meetings and commit to keeping updated when they are absent or feeding in ideas / information on their behalf if they can’t attend.


No progress linked to letting everyone have their say / lack of focus

Agenda agreed in advance of the meeting with clear objectives for what should have been achieved by close.

Time at the start of the meeting for everyone to speak ensuring inclusion without everyone needing to contribute to every point of discussion

Assign roles – e.g. if one person is chairing, make another person responsible for time-keeping and moving points along

Lack of time commitment / geography

Expanding core membership, face to face relationship-building for increased motivation and commitment







4. Consensus on overall objective/focus and introducing powers and values to new members


These were confirmed as correct and relevant.


5. Problem / issue / solution analysis

Small group discussion using the example on the left about how to break down the broad and complex problem of income inequality into more specific tangible issues which could be analysed and researched for the development of solutions/actions.




Following feedback, the whole group developed the following three ‘how to...?’ statements and members volunteered to participate in action teams to take the issue forward.

1.      How to encourage the private sector to introduce wage ratios [Phil, Maurice, Mike, Jo, Jeremy, Allan, Trine]

2.      How to raise awareness about the impact of income inequality with a particular social group e.g. politicians [Elizabeth, Ted, Maurice, David, Phil, Jeremy, Adam]

-          there was a discussion here about tying this in with advocacy for particular policy solutions

3.      How to engage other overlapping groups/organisations in promoting our agenda [Joe, Allan, Mike, Elizabeth]


6. Action teams plan first meeting

Teams decided to meet as part of the next Equality NW group meeting on Wednesday 25th April.  Discussed agenda for their first meeting and supplied with the following starter sheet in case relevant/helpful

Objective 1: To identify a solution for this issue

Key questions:

1.      What do we need to know to tackle this issue? [you may need to action plan for further research before you can proceed]

2.      What are the possible solutions to this problem?

3.      What are the pros/cons of each solution [is it winnable? easy to do/difficult to do? are there short term and long term wins? / affect lots of people or small no of people? / What skills/capacity/resources will we need; do we have them?; how do we get them?]

4.      Which solution do we think is most suitable in response to these questions?

TIP: If finding it difficult to agree on a solution you could use pitch sheets and pitch to each other as follows

§         Title of solution/action

§         Who is it for

§         How does it work

§         Pro's and Con's

§         Potential extensions to it


Objective 2: To develop an action plan for your solution

 Key questions for discussion:

1.      Who are you targeting?

2.      What is it exactly that you want to achieve? (use SMART – specific, measurable etc)

3.      How are you going to do it?

4.      Do you need to do further research before you can decide what to do and how to do it? [if so, make the following questions apply to the research exercise]

5.      What allies will you need and how are you going to get them?

6.      What resources will you need and how are you going to get them?

7.      What do you need to do this month/next 3 months/next 6 months/next 12 months?

8.      Who is going to be responsible for each task?

9.      How often and when are you going to meet to review progress?

10.  When are you going to meet to have a 1 to 1 with the other people in your action-team?


7. Agenda for next Equality NW meeting

The following agenda was agreed for meeting from 7-9pm on Weds 25th April:


The following issues were postponed to the next meeting after the 25th

  • Identifying important skills sets for a campaign team
  • Taking stock of currently existing skills and networks of influence within the group
  • Identifying helpers and constraints acting on the group in terms of expansion/development/ capacity building
  • Action-planning for how to tackle these issues


The following issues were postponed indefinitely:

  • Discussion about who the group is accountable to, who the group or group members can say they represent, how this affects their capacity for influence and what to do about it



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