LEADERSHIP, PLEASE LEAVE (the meeting) Staff-led Program and Strategy Design: a case study and discussion – Genevieve Smith

…Leadership, please do attend this session!

Most often, theories of change and other strategic products that impact organizations’ data practices are developed at leadership and board levels and dictated to staff without meaningful engagement and honest space for reflection and learning. Genevieve Smith has been working with organizations to flip this process on its head: on-the-ground staff always have brilliant (and often hard-earned) insight and ideas. Centering staff allows us to move from what are usually academic and theoretical exercises to more practical and human-centered conversations. There are consistent overlaps between data, strategy, and culture and staff are excellent at identifying them (it is their day-to-day, after all…). This requires trust, a willingness to experiment, and a lot of patience. It’s not the most efficient work, and Genevieve doesn’t think it should be. We must hear and trust each other before we can effectively and sustainably migrate from shadow spreadsheets to the database!

This approach is a mix of facilitation, coaching, knowledge management, and continuous improvement practices. Overlap those with an eye on data practices, and you’ve got holistic, human-led strategies and workflows. So far, this work has resulted in living documents rooted in love, lived experience, and consensus. Join Genevieve to hear about this staff-first approach and to participate in a healthy discussion about its application.

Scroll to Top