Teach Me Something: Planning


I am ready to plan with my notebook and laptop tucked neatly into this fabulous tote from BSD Design Studio. The fun and flirty skirt is from the brand new store, Lacuna. it comes in all sorts of happy, stripey color combinations.

Strawberry Singh’s Teach Me Something meme appeals to me. To be honest, I do not do a lot of the memes and challenges because what with all the weekly challenges from colors, to Disney characters, to concept challenges to these weekly memes, a person can easily lose track of their own blogging and become just one more iteration of the various weekly themes. However, this meme is particularly fascinating. I would love to learn about skills people use in their real lives – and get an insight into their interests and passions outside of Second Life®.

In my professional life, I probably spent more time planning than doing. After all, there were lots of volunteers and members for the doing, carrying out the plans we made. I did all sorts of planning: planning for conferences, board meetings, dinners, auctions and other fundraisers; planning lobbying campaigns to pass legislation, planning electoral campaigns for candidates and for ballot measures, strategic planning for long-term growth and development. All these kinds of planning have unique challenges, but there are some core elements that they have in common. That is what I thought I might teach.

How to plan.


You can literally lose yourself in hours of zen-like meditation, clicking away at the color-change HUD, admiring the hundreds of combinations as you change all the different elements piece by piece. It’s dangerously fun.

Dreams Matter

Before you begin to plan, you really need to know where you want to go. I don’t mean just where you want to go with that one task you are planning, but what you want to achieve in the long run. You see, if you have a vision of what you want your future to be, it can help you make decisions in all your short term plans. These long term visions should provide you with the core principles and values that are critical in strategic decision-making.

So, dream big and think of what you want your world to be like. I don’t mean just the personal stuff like love, family and security, but your environment, where you live, what your work is like, what your city is like, what your country is like. Don’t put a time frame on it, just think of what would be a near perfect world in your eyes. What are the key things that make it perfect?

What makes that world perfect to you is a reflection of your values – and by identifying the kind of world you want and the kind of values you hold dear, you can use that information in your planning.

An example from my own work can show you the value of this kind of visioning for values. There was a national strategy meeting to plan our coordinated state-based efforts to oppose a massive cut in federal taxes. The media consultants, predictable as ever, proposed running a campaign focused on the effects of the cuts on police and fire. They provided story boards for ads with typical fear-mongering examples of crime to scare people into wanting more police and prisons. Among our long term goals is reducing over-incarceration and the exponential growth in the prison industry. In essence, while that “police and fire” message may have been effective in the short-term to win the current campaign, it would make the long-term vision harder to achieve – by reinforcing fear and reinforcing the pro-incarceration message. We needed to find a message that reflected our real values, not short term expediency.

The first rule of planning strategically is never to do something for a short term victory that creates an impediment to your long term goals.


Fun color-change jewelry from LaGyo make this outfit! You can find the Mia necklace and earrings at Collabor88 – and then have a blast playing with all your options.

This has applications in all walks of life and in all kinds of decision-making. If you know that your future vision includes a clean environment with ample water, food and energy, you will make decisions about all sorts of small, short-term things that can help make your future vision a reality. You will use different light bulbs, carpool more, use public transit, recycle, plant trees and so on. Your vision of the world you want will inform your decisions on a regular basis.

Once you know what really matters to you – and how you will define success in the long run, you are ready to plan.


FLAIR manicure HUDs are the new crack in SL – with more than 70 fabulous sets, you are set for nail addiction.

The first step is to begin at the end. If it’s an electoral campaign, figure out how many votes are needed to win 50% plus 1. If it’s a fundraising banquet, decide how much money must be raised. If it’s a conference, how many people you want to attend for how many days with how many workshops. You cannot plan if you do not know what you want your final result to be. Write down the specifics. For a banquet, 5 tables at $25,000, 20 tables at $10,000 and 50 tables at $2500 for example. Be as concrete as possible.

Next, you must identify the interim steps needed to get to the end result. If you need 125,000 people to vote, how many voter contacts do you need to make? How many calls does that require? So how many volunteers are needed to make those calls? And how many volunteer coordinators are needed to recruit those volunteers? Start at the end and work backwards, setting benchmarks as you go so that you know whether you are on track. If you have volunteered to raise $5000 for a charity, how many gifts are needed? How many people need to give $500, how many to give $100, $50, $25 an $10. Group your contacts by how much you think they can give and figure out how many calls you need to make to reach your goal. Set daily targets so you know if you are on track.

Check lists are your friend!


A fun, casual hair style from Wasabi Pills and gorgeous skin from Glam Affair for Collabor88 complete the look. Best of all, Glam Affair now has appliers for SLink hands and feet.

The third step in successful planning is monitoring your progress and adjusting your plans with your end goal in mind. If you set a goal of 4000 voter contacts per week and you only have 2500 the first three weeks while you ramp up, you need to adjust your goals for the later weeks to add back those missing 4500 contacts. Plans are guides, not limits. Be ready to change them if reality does not match your expectations.

Lastly, failure happens. We cannot win every election and sometimes we set our goals too high, beyond what we can reasonably achieve. Sometimes the opposition out-organizes or outspends us. However, if we did our planning with integrity and with our long-term vision in mind, we know that we have advanced our long-term values and vision even when we lose some short-term battles.

These are only rough guidelines for planning – that can be used to guide you no matter what kind of planning you are doing. While planning an event is different from planning a campaign which is different from planning a recruitment campaign – these principles apply to planning for all of them. No matter what kind of planning you do, following these guidelines will make you more successful in the long run.

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Poses: Adorkable
Skin: Glam Affair – Margot – Europa 04 – Red @ Collabor88
Eyes: Insufferable Dastard
Lashes: Lelutka
Mani/Pedi: SLink Mesh Hands with FLAIR 52 Manicure Applicator
Hair: /Wasabi Pills/ Sunny Mesh Hair – Gingerbread
Clothing: Emery – Red Tank
*LACUNA* Flirt Skirt – M – Sea Spirit
Jewelry: LaGyo Mia – Earrings & Necklace @ Collabor88
{{BSD Design Studio}}model off duty-red( on hand)

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