The end of the year is often about taking stock, regrouping and refocusing.
While election work this cycle was important, it reminded me that the real work of Organizing to Win is about more than winning elections. It’s about building power. That’s why in 2023, I’m doubling down on outreach to organizations that want to build or strengthen organizing infrastructure.
Organizing requires holding two sometimes contradictory ideas at the same time.
Creating the Vision
On one hand, we keep a vision in mind. I’m working with a staff person from an organization that is in the beginning stages of transforming their organization from direct-service provider to power-builder. To keep us focused on this transition, I often ask her “what does it look like when workers have the power to hold their employer accountable?”
That question conjures up inspiring, visionary answers.
Planning the Work and Working the Plan
On the other hand, even the most meaningful vision won’t become reality by magic. That transition requires a plan, with specific steps, goals and metrics. Planning the work and working the plan isn’t always glamorous or inspiring.
Working that plan is what creates the magic.
The two concepts are sometimes hard to hold at the same time. There’s a risk of getting caught up in our own visionary rhetoric and forgetting the reality of work on the ground. There’s a corresponding risk of getting mired in the details and forgetting why we do this work in the first place.
Visions and Plans in 2023
In 2023, I’m looking forward to working with organizations on creating visions for power and building their organizing infrastructure to achieve them.
If you or a colleague is thinking about how to expand your organization’s vision, let’s make 2023 the year we work some magic to make our visions of justice into reality. Comment below or get in touch to find a time to talk.
May your 2023 be filled with visions and reality of equity, justice and happiness.