Developing a Theory of Change

For leaders who wish to understand how a systemic change could be brought about in the world around them, so as their organisation’s policies, projects and activities can have a maximum impact in promoting that change, and to spur other stakeholders into action.

What can 4Sing offer?

Today’s challenges are also an opportunity, at least if an organisation is open-minded and prepared to think about the future and look outside of its comfort zone. This plays to our forte, as the word “Foresight” is part of 4Sing’s name and of its DNA. The 4Sing team has a long experience in helping clients and multi-stakeholder teams to backcast from a desired future state, hence allowing them to see how a new paradigm or state of affairs can be brought into being with steps starting today. This allows the client to identify strategic changes and pressure points such as trim-tabs (small interventions that have a big effect) so as to focus their efforts. Furthermore, other stakeholders can then be mobilised to intervene on issues where the client’s own organisation is not able or willing to act.

Whilst there is no “one size fits all” process, a typical engagement of this sort includes sitting with the client to see which stakeholders need to be included, a phase of gathering inputs on what is relevant (interviews, or software supported crowdsourcing) and a highly inter-active set of workshops that the 4Sing team moderates. Some clients also then wish for a monitoring system to be put into place to see if the planned activities actually take place, and if their impact is as desired.

Why Not do it yourself?

The whole process is designed to provide the client organisation with a learning experience, so as the knowledge stays with the client, not the consultant. And even in client-only groups it is often better to take a consultant from outside who can focus on the method, whilst the client focuses on the contents, as the consultant has the freedom to ask uncomfortable questions that employees do not dare ask or cannot see because of group think. Moreover, when outside stakeholders are also concerned, it becomes important to have a facilitator who is clearly neutral, and who can steer a collective thinking process, at the same time as sparking creative thinking.