Remember the moment you were at a restaurant, sat down, and realized the table wobbled back and forth? You may have waited a few minutes to see if the wobble would be a problem or could be ignored, but I bet you eventually grabbed something to level it out or told the server. This temporary fix works fairly well for your visit but isn't a permanent solution.
Strategic positioning allows time to assess the "wobbly table." The Patterson Foundation's (TPF) Digital Access for All team recently met to discuss collaboration, alignment, and progress with intentionality and detailed steps, but instead of a wobbly table, our focus was the three legs of the digital access stool: connectivity, devices, and skills/support. These three essential elements must be present to achieve digital access -- a level surface.
As a Fellow with TPF, I had the opportunity to prepare and facilitate this Digital Access for All (DA4A) strategic positioning session. Undertaking this project was an immense responsibility to utilize time efficiently, create intentional opportunities for discussion and collaboration, and outline broad goals for the day while facilitating transitions and brainstorming to achieve actionable steps. While this was a one-day discussion, the preparation and follow-through were also important pieces of gaining structure around projects, communication, and team dynamics -- all discussion topics during the session.
To use the session time fully, each team member had pre-work, pre-reading, and day-of roles, including a timer and notetaker. The pre-work consisted of a matrix with a look at each project and where it lands on a scale of high/low TPF alignment and high/low community alignment. The results were then used to design a visual with projects placed by each leg of the stool. Only these projects/ideas were discussed during the session time. Others were placed in the "crisper," where they can stay fresh but need more time.
There was also a "parking lot" page on flipchart paper to place ideas that came up during the session but did not pertain to the topic at the time or needed future discussion. Following the session, each team member completed a survey to outline anything additional to ensure no thoughts were lost. Many submissions also included recommendations for future sessions.
I'm grateful to have had this experience of planning and facilitating a strategic positioning session and undertaking the follow-through to ensure time was well spent by setting the team up for further growth. I look forward to seeing the impact and evolution each project will have on the Suncoast Region.
With gratitude to Cheri Coryea and Debra Jacobs for guidance while planning and preparing the strategic positioning materials and immense thanks to the DA4A team for your engagement and collaboration at this discussion and every day for digital access: Maribel Martinez, Karen Stewart, Kiarra Louis, Rachel Ploss, Avery Crews Prado de Lima, Alexa Carr.