The Alliance Common Agenda is our statement of a shared purpose. A common agenda is one of five elements of Collective impact. Our working definition of a common agenda draws inspiration from Paul Born’s article “How to Develop a Common Agenda for a Collective impact.” A common agenda is the result of a creative process of helping everyone to get onto the same page about what it is we are going to do together that no one organization can do alone, and then documenting our common commitment.
It has 3 main components:
- Statements of shared purpose: mission, vision, key goals, and strategies that form a common understanding of what everyone has agreed to. We call this the Strategic Direction.
- A narrative that captures our theory of change and journey of shared learning, and the rationale for the goals we have chosen to work on together.
- A road map for how we have agreed to work together, including a budget and governance model for our work.
The common agenda serves the function of a strategic plan, but the process and planning tools are oriented toward transformational change of complex systems. The building of a common agenda is primarily about engagement. By bringing together those who care about and are impacted by the issues, it is a way to highlight and remind ourselves that The Alliance is a network focused on an emergent process, one based on listening and equity, exploration and curiosity, and on a collective commitment to change in Alaska.
The Common Agenda is a living document. We began developing it in December 2019, and it continues to adapt to changing needs as we learn together. If there is a piece of the Common Agenda that is out of our range of tolerance, those concerns can be shared with The Alliance Strategy workgroup.