We are proud to share our new Strategic Directions.
We began the strategic review process a year ago, as we recognized the need to shift from our ‘start-up mode’ toward examining how to maintain our work and be sustainable. The environment we work within has changed substantially. The pandemic caused the kind of upheaval and radical shift in regular patterns that invites systems change. Meanwhile, a new sense of racial reckoning emerged from both the killing of George Floyd and the initial discovery of 215 Indigenous children’s remains near the Kamloops residential school (and subsequent discovery of hundreds and hundreds more).
Our work had always been intended to boost equity, but we needed to examine and strengthen how we did that. And we needed to get our house in order, so to speak. Or, to extend the metaphor, determine if we were indeed one house or a row of condo townhouses. As an organization with many networked parts, we found there was a lack of clarity and coherence to our work that was affecting our ability to be effective.
Our review included reaching out to the external community, examining what we had done thus far and considering where there were gaps we might fill. It quickly became clear that not many folks, even those familiar with some of our work, really understood what we do.
With this document, our goal is to help people clearly understand what we do, how we do it and why we do it. Systems change work can be ambiguous, uncertain and complex and notoriously hard to explain simply. We may never be able to explain what we do as easily as a corner store, or a bank, or an organization with very tangible outcomes like Habitat for Humanity. But we hope these directions get us closer than we have been in the past, and empower our staff, board and allies to confidently discuss our work.
The compass rose you see on the cover describes the five main actions we take. We collaborate, experiment, act, evaluate, and communicate in service of equity, which is at the centre of everything we do.
Our vision is of equitable, thriving communities built on fundamentally reimagined systems.
To achieve our goal of equity through positive social change, our mission states we will innovatively connect communities, create collaborative partnerships, measure our impact and maintain a strong and sustainable core.
Our four Strategic Priorities are to:
- Strengthen Community Connections,
- Build On our Collaboration Success,
- Demonstrate our Impact Clearly, and
- Model Equitable, Efficient & Sustainable Processes.
Please let us know what you think about our strategic directions.
Do you find our work clearer after reviewing this document? Could we do more to simplify our language? Are there more dots we can connect for you about what our work means for residents and communities?