New Tool Helps Leaders Adjust Strategies Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted April 11, 2020
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
A new tool helps leaders decide what works take priority during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Cen­ter for Com­mu­ni­ty Invest­ment has pub­lished a triage tool to help reassess work in the con­text of the COVID-19 cri­sis. The tool offers a results-based process for lead­ers in var­i­ous fields to reex­am­ine core assump­tions and adapt if those assump­tions have changed.

The process makes space for lead­ers to let go of past pri­or­i­ties and acknowl­edge feel­ings of loss as nec­es­sary pre­cur­sors to piv­ot­ing to the future, accord­ing to Mar­i­an Urquil­la, the tool’s author and one of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Chil­dren and Fam­i­ly Fel­lows.

Reori­ent­ing is not a sim­ple mat­ter; it’s an iter­a­tive process,” explains Urquil­la, who also serves as a fac­ul­ty mem­ber for Results Count®, the Foundation’s results-based lead­er­ship approach to achieve mea­sur­able results in child well-being.

The triage tool first invites users to define a guid­ing ques­tion that is future focused and open end­ed about what you are try­ing to achieve or where you are head­ed in this moment,” writes Urquil­la. It also includes a sim­ple tem­plate with cat­e­gories for pri­or­i­tiz­ing work, from Cur­rent Pri­or­i­ty: Still Rel­e­vant” to Hon­or and Let Go.”

Lead­ers who have been work­ing to reform and improve long-term out­comes for chil­dren and fam­i­lies can use the tool to keep their goals in sight while shift­ing their imme­di­ate work to respond to the COVID-19 cri­sis, accord­ing to Jen­nifer Gross, a senior asso­ciate on the Casey Foundation’s Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment team.

The triage tool help lead­ers quick­ly deter­mine the most impor­tant work to do in response to both the imme­di­ate cri­sis and the longer-term inter­est of the orga­ni­za­tion,” Gross says. Instead of orga­ni­za­tion­al paral­y­sis, it’s a way to focus on results and action.”

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