If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else. – Yogi Berra
Paired with the logic model and work plan, a shared agenda is a key planning tool for systems change. A shared agenda outlines clear buckets of work. It also helps the team plan ahead with focus on destination and checkpoints along the way. A shared vision helps the team have clarity about expectation and roles and responsibilities in moving work forward.
Imagine you’re planning a road trip with friends from Chicago to Portland, Oregon. There are many ways to reach your destination—you work together to select between different routes and sites to see along the way. You agree to arrive by a certain date. As you drive, each friend takes turns sleeping. Because the group agrees to the plan, no one gets lost, there is little conflict, and all arrive to Portland on time.
Consensus among partners is essential when creating the shared agenda. This level of agreement ensures all partners and members of the collaboration team will support the agenda throughout implementation.
Essential elements of a shared agenda include:
- A shared understanding of the community’s needs and the targeted problem
- Agreed-upon targeted systems change efforts and desired outcomes
- Focused strategies to measure the collaboration’s impact
- Common language to guide the work
- Commitment to shared work
Be sure to include diverse voices such as families and partners from different sectors such as non-profits, social service providers, elected officials, and community members.
Logic model + work plan = shared agenda
- The logic model helps you design the strategies to achieve your goal.
- The work plan helps you check-in on your progress, assign timelines and people, and allows you to adjust course as you go.
- The shared agenda makes sure everyone knows the plan and is moving towards the same destination together.
See the Create a Road Map section of the website to begin to move your shared agenda to action plans.