RSS Message to Occupiers: Set Concrete Goals, Stay on Message

If you’re like me, you may be getting a bit tired of the Occupy movement and the fact that it doesn’t appear to have a strategic purpose. While I definitely understand the reason for their peaceful protests and the fervor necessary to create change, I have become a little frustrated because there has yet to be a defined goal of their cause. To be honest, I am very sympathetic to those who believe in positive change, and the Occupy movement creates a very real opportunity for positive change to occur. I am also of the opinion that the majority of those involved in the movement are in it for the right reasons. They have become frustrated with the economic and political realities we all face today, feeling that many voices are better than a single voice.

What’s missing in this movement, for me anyway, is a strategic plan, one with tangible objectives and a common vision of what’s possible. In other words, this movement is lacking leadership. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t strong leaders in each of the cities where protests are occurring. I believe there must be good local leadership because those involved seem to move as one, communing together and acting in ways that, at least up to now, have been consistent and reasonable.

What I’m afraid may happen, however, is that without a strong vision and plan, some passionate individuals may feel that the leverage they initially felt isn’t gaining traction as quickly as it should. They may begin to deviate from the group to achieve what they think is the most important objective.

I see this at times in business when leaders fail to lead, create, or articulate a strategic plan that their team members can embrace. Sometimes, individuals within these organizations take matters into their own hands and act in ways that are inconsistent with the culture or overall objectives of the organization, thus rendering the entire organization inefficient at best and ineffective at worst.

If I could offer some words of advice and encouragement to those involved in the Occupy movement, it would be this:

  1. Strategize and establish goals: Understand that just because you exist you are not necessarily  effective. Effectiveness is measured in only one way: ultimate success.  Success not only requires an opportunity-rich environment, but also talent, skills, and a plan.
  2. Find the right voice to articulate your plan: Protesting will build plenty of notoriety, but an effective strategy and a voice will lead to positive results.
  3. Commit to nonviolence: As your cause continues to receive strong media coverage, remember that Main Street America will support peaceful movements. Keep those who may wish to change the “culture” of the movement to a minimum.

An interesting question for us all to ponder: If we were to compare the standard of living of every American to the standard of living of other citizens in the world, are WE the top 1% that should be protested against? It makes me go “Hmm.”

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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