2/29/2004 8:01 PM
Note from a new member of the founding committee
Paul and I have had a bit of discussion over the past few days about positioning, from a marketing perspective, the efforts of this group so that funding and other support may be acquired and sustained.
Some of the points we've discussed are tailoring the vocabulary and concepts of the material to a reading and comprehension level that typical decision briefings in government and industry target - i.e., communicating with an 8th grade audience.
In line with that, Paul and I discussed positioning and presenting the material in several stages, each of which is intended to gain agreement from the audience (i.e., the proverbial "getting to yes" in sales).
The stages are:
1. NEED. Discover: a) the needs the customer states/expresses, and b) the unstated needs the customer does not see or for which they assume there is no solution, in that order.
This entails identifying who the decision makers (stakeholders) and their influencers are, just as described in the Appreciation/Influence/Control (AIC) of W. E. Smith, the author of the "Wholeness" document in OntologyStream’s memeticScience Groove's files tab.
The technique I've used to approach identifying stakeholders and their "win" strategies fits well when planning, implementing, and improving meetings, training, projects, and community/social change efforts. The file describing this technique will be in the File tab, and will be called "Meeting Management". I believe it fits nicely with the AIC approach.
I categorized the structure of the whole endeavor (i.e., AIC "Appreciation") in terms of: location, organization, organization unit, function, process, and resource subjects. Each of these subjects has a catalog of more specific terms about these subjects (i.e., a taxonomy). See slide 10 at
Each subject in these six taxonomies is used to describe the "content and context" of each other subject, which seems to match to the "Influence" aspect of AIC.
The AIC control seems to come into play when considering the endeavor's "Function" in question in terms of: a) functional guidance (i.e., policy, process, procedure, templates, metadata, constraints, tools), b) functional assignment (i.e., responsibility, authority, and budget, by appointed leader, by organization unit, by organization, and by location), and c) functional operations, packaged as the following "purpose" item. See slides 85 and 86 at the above URL.
2. PURPOSE. Describe your purpose (your mission, vision, goal, objectives, performance measures, strategies, plans, initiative projects, recurring operations) in terms of those needs. See slide 68 at the above URL.
(To quote W. E. Smith in the above "Wholeness" document, "purpose, not wealth, authority or knowledge, is the source of power... Identifying the purposes to be served, finding those whose needs are addressed by that purpose, and pursuing that purpose over a whole time cycle provide the potential power underlying accomplishment of purpose. Every Purpose creates a power field).
3. POSSIBLE. Identify how it is possible technically to achieve the purpose and satisfy the stated and unstated needs. This involves showing, in simple terms and/or diagrams, where the awareness of what is possible currently lies (client currently believes what?), and where what we are proposing is beyond that common awareness, but still quite technically doable (as proven by science, technology, best practice, etc.).
4. FEASIBLE. Identify that what we intend to do in satisfying the needs is possible economically (i.e., feasible), in relatively modest operation and investment funding levels, given the features, functions, and benefits to be attained.
5. PRACTICAL. Identify that pursuing satisfaction of these needs in the way we propose is common sense, self-evident, demonstrable, capable of being achieved, and not theoretical or speculative. Also identify that the plan(s) to achieve the purpose will deliver useful information and/or capabilities at each stage, as well as at the conclusion of the plans.
6. ACCEPTABLE. Identify the political, cultural, and personal "wins" that will come from satisfying the needs, and identify how to mitigate the perceived loss to those who feel threatened by the changes the plans' implementations will entail. From the first step of this positioning effort, this has to be considered as the critical milestone that must be passed in order to begin plan implementation.