Strategic thinking is a key ingredient for success in any endeavour.
This is a concept that came across strongly in a presentation by John W. Danahy of the University of Toronto faculty of architecture, landscape, and design on January 18, 2012 at the Mimico Centennial Library.
The Lakeview community developed what it calls a “3P” Strategy in the course of its work on behalf of the Lakeview Legacy Project.
The Lakeview Ratepayers Association is described as the key to the success of the process on which the 3P Strategy is based.
The following text is based on a slide from John Danahy’s talk.
Proactive: Be proactive in identifying what negatively impacts your community, and more importantly, what may negatively impact your community in the near or distant future.
Persistent: Be persistent in gaining, and sharing with your community, the knowledge required to make fair, informed decisions, and to be able to engage all stakeholders in the discussion.
Positive: Never offer a solution to a difficult issue unless it is a positive solution. If you cannot find a solution where there are no losers, revert to the second “P,” Persistent.
The executive of the ratepayers association serving Lakeview adopted a set of operational principles for its work. The following summary of the principles is from a slide from John Danahy’s presentation.
The principles apply to everything the ratepayers association did in “working bottom-up in a planning system that was not used to citizens leading the call for regeneration and sustainability.”
The text continues as follows (in the following display I have broken the text into shorter paragraphs; the text from which I’m quoting was presented as a single column on the left side of the slide that John Danahy projected):
- Most authorities expect resistance to this type of intensification agenda. The association’s “3P” theory for strategy was implemented to achieve local community, shared community, bureaucratic and political buy in. They took the view that there must be a creative way to find solutions that did not create losers.
It was not always possible to create the win-win situation but it was possible to identify core values and negotiate ways to protect those interests.
That attitude shifted the mind set from the usual notion of asking authorities to fix problems to one of championing a positive alternative to the status quo.