Strengths-Based Planning

Strengths-based CoachingMost strategic planning and systems change initiatives follow the time-worn pattern of a SWOT analysis: assessing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to analyze and correct the root causes of their problems.  Although well-intentioned, this approach has consistently been shown in study after study to fall far short of its promises. Organizations often do not change following a SWOT-based planning process and when they do change, that change often leads to increased rigidity, fear, and blame. Instead of inspiring hope, people end up feeling defensive and defeated.

Fortunately, there is a better way. Using Appreciative Inquiry and Design Thinking, our whole-system transformation initiatives utilize an innovative SOAP analysis: focusing on Strengths, Observations, Aspirations, and Possibilities to “lather up” new realities. By celebrating the best of what is and imagining the best of what might be, our strengths-based planning processes are filled with creativity, fun, surprise, wonder, joy, satisfaction, and deep relationships. Scalable to groups of all sizes, these processes include effective ways to engage all stakeholders in the search for new horizons and previously overlooked possibilities. Innovations thereby emerge that result in improved student well-being and learning.

Learn more about how this process works by downloading these Articles & Publications. Watch this process in action by following these links to the Promotional and Summit videos of a whole-systems change process that took place in 2006 in the Fostoria City Schools (Get RealPlayer to watch videos). Then Contact us today to explore the possibilities for bringing sparkle to your system with SOAP!