The danger of infinite campaign planning

I’ve just come back from Lima where I was running a training workshop for NGOs from Bolivia, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala as well as Peru. I’ve done training courses across the world but not before with Spanish translation. So I was somewhat nervous beforehand to see if my messages could be conveyed through the translation.

Training workshop in Peru

Training workshop in Peru

I needn’t have worried – the key campaigning tools – many of which are featured on this site – seemed to resonate with the audience and seemed to help them to build their campaign plans. Campaigning truly is a global language.

Yet I was struck by a great point from the Honduras team: towards the end of the workshop I had encouraged the country groups to go back to their earlier discussions over the campaigning tools, and begin to sketch out their immediate action plan designed to drive forward their campaign.

I asked the Honduras team how they were getting on; they assured me that they had a good plan, but remarked that surely that there was a danger with this planning that you could keep tweaking and changing for ever and never ever start campaigning.

I was really taken by this point. There is always more that you can do on your campaign plan. The critical thing is to develop it, test it and challenge it, and then have the confidence to start it. You only really begin to know about your campaign once you’ve started it. So planning is important – but so is having the confidence to just to start and to stand ready to learn.

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