Process

These pages will outline the process by which UK strategy can be defined, as designed by the Strategy Stewardship Team in October 2020.

Introduction

What is Strategy?

The role of the XRUK strategy is to unify the movement under a common purpose that will take us closer to achieving our primary goal: the three demands. It aims to be a guiding light in which rebels can find the information needed to employ their own knowledge, creativity, and passion to deliver a diverse, decentralised, but coordinated rebellion.

For a more detailed definition of strategy and how it differs from tactics please check out Our Shared Vocabulary.


Designing this Process

In designing this process, the Strategy Stewardship Team (SST) has used convergent facilitation to identify what the movement needs from a strategy process. SST has gathered learnings from the last strategy process and brought together The Hive, UKSupport (including Operations, CoLiberation, and the Justice Steering Group) to hear proposals on the ideal make-up of the strategy assembly.

The XRUK Strategy Review Process is intended to act as a ‘good enough’ starting point. It has been designed to be a more ‘always-on’, flexible, representative, and responsive process than we’ve had in the past. But it is only a starting point.

As the UK Strategy Assembly (UKSA) and Strategy Development Team (SDT) engage with this process over time, they will learn, adapt, and re-shape things as necessary. Nothing is fixed. There is no single ‘right way’ to do things. The only certainty is the need for the movement to constantly evolve the way it approaches strategy if it is to remain effective in a rapidly changing world.


Some of the tensions addressed in this process:

In collecting feedback from the movement on the 2020 strategy and the process by which it came together some of the tensions below were identified. This new strategy process looks to address each of these.

Defining the Scope of Work

It is important for us to know what this process is trying to do, and what it cannot do. Therefore we have the following definitions of what can be affected by decisions within the Strategy Process and what cannot.

In Scope

  1. Abstract concepts and considerations that directly impact strategy development and can be scheduled as part of the strategic discussions and realistically resolved within the timeframe.

    • E.g. specific adjustments to Theories of Change (ToC) or emphasis given to individual demands.
  2. Concrete strategy development work.

    • A review of the Power Together 2020 Strategy (long form) document. Given the scale and speed of change since this document was created, what can stay the same, what needs to change, and what can be taken away.
    • Insight into the current internal and external environment to inform discussions and decisions and provide a basis and rationale for change.
  3. Strategy writing & consolidation.

    • The SDT has the mandate to draft strategy proposals and the UKSA is there to reflect on these, ammend and consolidate them into a final working product

Out of Scope

  1. Vision Setting:
    • Vision, Purpose, Principles and Values. Each of these are held by the Guardianship & Visioning Circle (G&V) within UK Support. Any conserns or amendments to such core parts of the XR DNA should be brough to G&V and not the UKSA.
    • More fundamental revisions of Theories of Change or Demands that need to be taken out of the strategy process as other groups are working on them, or the complexity will require a longer series of discussions etc.
  2. Tactical Campaign Planning:
    • Planning at the level of specific tactics or timelines. The mandate for operationalising the Strategy remains with the Operations Circle within UK Support. Should rebels wish to be involved in this work you can connect via the Operations Reception.

Strategy Working Groups

Core Working Groups

The following Groups are those definied by this strategy proccess and hold a key role in the design of the strategy. Other Working Groups will be involved either in supporting the smooth running of the process or represented by Rebels within the assembly.

UK Strategy Assembly Mandate

Accountabilities

Domain

XRUK Strategy.


Team Make-Up

Appointing UKSA Representatives

It will be left to the circles/groups to decide whom to appoint, but SST would encourage groups to think about how they would like to see themselves represented in an iterative strategy process that will review and adapt UK-wide strategic intentions in 3-monthly cycles. The purpose of a movement-wide strategy is to help XR achieve its primary goal - delivery of the three demands. A successful strategy will therefore require an understanding of, and focus on, the diverse groups of external stakeholders that we need to identify, analyse, reach and influence.

Timing of nominations to UKSA

Nominations for the UKSA representative were submitted to the SST by 9th November 2020, roles were shared betwen nominees and the final assembly met for the first time on Novemeber 24th.


Ways of Working

NB. The UKSA must reflect on the ways in which XR UK does and doesn’t engage with the international XR community, as well as on the impacts of its actions beyond the UK.

Strategy Development Team (SDT)

Mandate

Purpose

To produce and revise drafts of an overall Strategy for XRUK that:

  1. Will unify the movement under a common purpose that will take us closer to achieving our 3 demands.
  2. Is in keeping with the 10 Principles and Values and the Strategy Assembly’s mandate.
  3. Is agreed to by the Strategy Assembly.
Accountabilities
Domains

No Domain at present.


What will the SDT do?

1. Generate proposals

Generate proposals for the Strategy that fulfil the criteria from Phase 1 of the Convergent Facilitation.
Ideas can come from the Strategy Assembly members, from discussions during open Saturday sessions, online, from presentations by groups within XR, etc.

2. Bring up anything controversial

When they hit anything that they expect will be controversial with the Strategy Assembly, the SDT bring that issue for discussion at a full session of the Strategy Assembly.

3. Consult with external advisors

SDT will pursue any information they require and invite experts and advisors as they see fit.

4. Integrate the wisdom of the Assembly

The Strategy Development Team will then integrate the outcomes of the Strategy Assembly’s discussions, in accordance with the criteria.

5. Write the drafts

Throughout, SDT will be drafting pieces of the Strategy based on the ‘needs’ generated by the Assembly The whole draft will be brought to the Strategy Assembly for integration, before it is finally agreed

How is this different from the UKSA?

The SDT is an elected group made up of members of the UKSA. It is formed for the purpose of writing proposals as this work can be done more efficiently with a smaller group of people. They do not make any of the strategic decisions.

The Strategy Development Team brings proposals.
The UK Strategy Assembly is the decision-making body.

SDT.png

Who will be in the SDT?

SASN propose the Assembly elect 7 of its members to the SDT (who can choose to co-opt an additional two people from outside, if they wish).

During the election process, certain qualities of individuals may be considered as the Assembly will want to ensure that the SDT has the skills and experience required to fulfil its mandate.

Here’s an (incomplete) list of qualities that you might consider when voting:

Choosing the SDT

Voting

The 7 seats will be elected by Single Transferable Vote. This was chosen as it is a representative way of reflecting the desires of the whole group.

Assembly reps can each nominate one other Member. Candidates will have an opportunity to speak to the group.

Voting will be done online, outside of session time.

Nominations

Candidates will be nominated through email by the UKSA Memebers.

Each email will have a brief statement explaining the nominee’s suitability which will be shared with the Assembly as a whole before the Thursday "hustings" session.

At the Thursday session there will be a limited time for nominees to introduce themselves to the full Assembly on Thursday, and to question them.


SDT and the External Advisory Panel

When working with the External Advisor Panel, advice given must be taken into full consideration by the SDT (and UKSA as relevant). The default course of action should be to act on and in accordance with advice or data that is deemed valuable and reliable unless sound reasons are presented for not doing so. The movement has a track record of ignoring external advice if it doesn’t align with entrenched or dominant points of view. We must be willing to leave our comfort zone, trust in other ways of doing things and be willing to learn from and act on advice from sources that may know more than we do.

Strategy Process & Review Cycle

Strategy Process

A rough outline of the process could be brought down into the following:

Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Next Stages & Iterations

Strategy Review Cycle

The Strategy Stewardship Team (SST) is recommending that the UK Strategy Assembly (UKSA) and Strategy Development Team (SDT) formally review the strategy around three times a year to start with. Depending on a number of factors including the external environment and internal capacity/appetite.

In-between review periods, UKSA can call SDT together to act as a rapid response unit to deal with unanticipated/fast developing events that have the potential to impact the strategy, or require a strategic response.

Example Timeline:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
Gathering Data & Insights Review Previous Strategy Strategy Development
May Jun Jul Aug
Gathering Data & Insights Review Previous Strategy Strategy Development
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Gathering Data & Insights Review Previous Strategy Strategy Development

Below is a pictorial interpretation of how the movement will feed their insights and feedback into the UKSA followed by how the UKSA (which represents the voices of the movement) will work with the SDT (who will write the documentation) interact through consultation and insight. It also demonstrates how the External Advisory panel supports the SDT in achieving their aims.

Diagram Showing how feedback will be incorporated into Strategy Discussions

Critical Success Factors

The following need to be met for the suggested process to successfully be carried out:

Roadmap for Stages 3 & 4

As the Assembly nears the end of the second stage of its process we are now looking to how we can get a strategy to the movement in as timely a way as possible. The following roadmap has been developed to guide the Assembly through the final stages in the hope of releasing a strategy in id Feburary.

The intention is to:

The Plan

Milestones

There are three milestones we must hit if we are to produce a strategy:

  1. Forming the Strategy Development Team. (Information on how this is done can be found here)
  2. Producing a Draft Strategy
  3. Publishing a Final Strategy

Note: Milestones do not move easily.

We will be sticking to our existing pattern of meethings (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) where we have scheduled plans for the weekday meetings and are more flexible on Saturdays. So there is space for adjustment as needed within the sessions but each milestone must be met.

A Timeline showing Milestones spread over six weeks

Sessions

To see a more detailed breakdown of our current plans for upcoming sessions have a look here.

As the SDT will have separate meetings each week to draft the strategy the UKSA will have time in their meetings to explore further the inputs to the process, to start thinking about a team to look at how the strategy will be formatted and delivered to rebels, as well as hearing updates from the SDT and helping to resolve any issues or controversies that arise.