"Creating our future… We will go where we come from"
Since 1998, when the organization decided to move forward down the professionalization path, Dianova International has been encouraging the implementation of work teams dedicated to developing the Dianova network’s strategic plans. As the ultimate plan will reach its term in 2016, an initial workshop has been organized in Castelldefels on 19 and 20 March for the purpose of preparing proposals for the 2016-2020 period.
In a world where everything changes at a tremendous pace, it would seem rather futile to plan for the future. However, we can imagine this future and in some way, we can even create this future collectively.
Thirty Dianova collaborators came from all the countries where the Dianova network is present. Thirty professionals from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages, experiences and cultures, came to join a two-day meeting and debate on past and future strategies for the purpose of defining the common direction to be taken by our network. To achieve this task, they could rely on the help of Rafa Goberna, consultant and expert in organizational development, better known by members of Dianova as "Mr. Questions”
The environment, an essential factor
As Darwin had demonstrated it in his time, our survival depends primarily on our ability to adapt to our environment. In terms of strategic planning, it is essential to pay close heed to the slightest changes in the environment in which we operate. And even though the latter is both uncertain and ambiguous by nature, we should endeavor to interpret this dynamic environment and its possible evolutions adequately so as to anticipate changes and become more flexible and responsive. We should even be able to anticipate the unexpected, such as high-profile, hard-to-predict "black swan events", i.e. those inherently unpredictable events, with far-reaching consequences for their environment, like the arrival of tablets or that of the Facebook network.
The workshop allowed participants to review the history of the various strategic plans implemented by the organization since 1998 and the immense effort made at that time to make the organization more accountable and professional to ensure Dianova’s continuity. As a sculptor’s chisel removes the flakes of marble, we gradually eliminated all unnecessary pieces – without knowing exactly what shape would take the final “art work”’, but with a clear idea of what we no longer wanted.
2008 marked another step in the evolution of the Dianova network which at that time had passed to a more creative phase of its strategic planning. Unlike the sculptor who works in removing material, we then passed to the freedom of the painter. Instead of removing marble flakes, we learned to mix colors and arrange them on the canvas … We learned to create our future with much more freedom, but also with a planning process necessarily more thorough and disciplined.
The future starts today
Imagining and preparing for the future can be achieved only with everyone’s commitment and by ensuring that the future strategic plan belongs to all. This planning can only be done by taking into account the digital revolution that is already underway.
Before attempting to picture what the future will look like, we should take a look back. Let us remember that in a mere ten-year period, the rise of digital technology and the global networking of individuals have produced in-depth changes in the way we communicate. This decentralization of ideas will continue further with unprecedented repercussions in all areas of society – politics, economy, education, citizenship, culture, media, etc. This essential element is to be integrated into our strategic thinking.
The "Person", at the core of our actions
The various workshops conducted during these two days have enabled participants to rethink their way of being, to imagine where they want to go and how they want to do it. They also afforded a much better insight on the reflection process and how it will strengthen our ability to move forward while maintaining our DNA, i.e. the skills and knowledge which belong to the Dianova network’s very foundations, along with the attention to the "person" at the core of all our actions.
Participants also highlighted some keywords that will be incorporated in the new strategic plan including: open, supportive, self-criticism, ‘without losing our essence', sustainability, viability, ‘financial independence’, confidence, identity, ‘quality management' evaluation, quality, ‘equal opportunities’, ‘intergenerational leadership ', connection, network internationalization', etc.
Another important element mentioned was the need to strengthen organizational networking capabilities in order to create synergies, both internally and externally. For example through the exchange of best practices, the implementation of joint projects, the preparation of advocacy initiatives, etc.
Finally, a number of work teams were formed. Their task will be to analyze the current and future trends in Dianova’s many areas of. Three groups were created for North America, Latin America and Europe.
This first workshop has been rewarding and specially productive. It has enabled participants to discuss the DNA of strategic planning and to develop a clear vision of the challenges awaiting the Dianova network in 2020. Other meetings will follow in order to move forward in preparing the strategic plan which final version will be submitted to the Assembly of Delegates in October 2015
Many thanks to all participants and all those who couldn’t be there to ensure proper care of the people we are dedicated to help.
Videos of Dianova Colleagues