Working Our Values: Reconnecting With Our Why, Part 1

The start of 2020 marks the tenth year that Strategic Earth Consulting has circled around the sun. And inherent to these types of celebratory milestones is a natural opportunity to pause, reflect, and begin charting our course for the next decade to come. 

As a woman-owned, small (micro!) business enterprise with a remote team, it can be challenging to carve out sufficient space and time to consider who we are and what we do. However, as we transition from “start-up” to “stand up,” gaining clarity on the evolution of our bigger “why” has taken on a new level of importance. Considering answers to essential questions — Who is Strategic Earth? Why do we do the work we do? What is our value? How can we be of service? — is exciting, inspiring, and a little daunting. 

With these lofty intentions in mind, our core team blocked off a few days in December and retreated to Idyllwild, California for a little mountain air and immersion in strategic planning and visioning work. This was the perfect place to reconnect and reflect on the past ten years, our accomplishments and struggles, and begin charting an updated path forward. 

Our team is often the facilitators of strategy sessions, so it was a pleasant change of pace to let our colleague Christine Springer take the reins and guide us through a stepped process. Fueled by cashews, chocolate, and cups of tea, we started by discussing our successes and challenges in 2019, and some of our most proud moments over the last decade. We then moved to the difficult part: confirming our ‘why’ and our vision as a company. 

Strategic Earth’s strengths and specialties, numerous though they may be, can be challenging to articulate. We promote inclusive dialogue across various topics. We do not advocate for particular outcomes. We strive to deliver stellar products. After hours of brainstorming, and finding ourselves in more than a few rabbit holes, we developed vision and ‘why’ statements to act as touchstones to help direct and focus our good work: 

We envision a world where inclusive dialogue is the gateway to responsible use and management of natural resources.

We create a neutral space for the equitable exchange of ideas and information.

After exhaling from gaining this essential clarity, we moved on to identify the gifts of each core staff member, barriers to growth, shifts that can be made to move Strategic Earth forward, and how to remain inspired by our work. While our brains were exhausted after a full day of visioning, our hearts were full in great part to the open and honest discussions our team committed to each step of the way. We all felt invigorated and excited, grateful to Idyllwild for serving as the perfect backdrop for reconnecting to the core of who Strategic Earth is and our intentions for its growth and continued expansion. 

Stay tuned for Part 2: Implementation.

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