How does it work?

We’re all familiar with how complicated it can be to make group decisions inside an organization. Different people lobby for the pieces of the work they feel most passionate about, and they may judge the value of a project based on totally different set of criteria from those being used by others.

Greenpeace Netherlands is attempting to address that problem with a tool that regulates the influence that individual biases have on the decision-making process. They are creating a decision-making model that helps them make key decisions about campaigns in a systematic, balanced way.

“True, anything with cute furry animals appeals to the public. But it also might be able to give you the leverage you need. Yet to campaigners this might seem stupid. By using this tool – maybe it scores high on communications and mobilisation value. It might seem trivial from a hard-core campaigner value standpoint. But we need to look hard at how we will be providing value. So the decision-making tool needs to be refined but it’s very valuable in aiding in those discussions.”
– Meike Baretta, Director of Actions & Outreach

“So we’ve got a decision-making model. It has criteria on whether we think that a particular project has high environmental impact, high communications value, high fundraising value, etc. After the discussion has been had, we can go through and give a score on each of the criteria, so we’re not just yelling opinions at each other.”
– Sylvia Borren, Executive Director

The decision-making model is a template for ranking a given campaign based on a number of key criteria, including:

  • Campaign:
    • Does this activity directly help stop an environmental problem or start a solution?
    • How important is it for the critical pathway?
    • In what way does the influence of ‘opponents’ decrease / ‘allies’ increase?
    • How much does this motivate people to change their behaviour to help solve the environmental problem?
  • Communication & Mobilisation:
    • In what way does this strengthen Greenpeace’s image and core values?
    • To what level does this illustrate (the key message of) the campaign?
    • How many people will find this interesting, relevant, news worthy?
    • How many people will be motivated to take (joint) action?
  • Fundraising:
    • How many new leads or extra money will this render?
    • Will it appeal to new target groups?
    • What do our current (financial) supporters think of this?

What’s the impact?

Oftentimes, a specific project might seem very important to one team, but not to others. By thinking through each of these considerations individually, the decision-making model helps ensure that different considerations all get their say. Maybe a campaign is highly valuable from a Communications perspective, but less so from a Mobilisation perspective. It might still be worth doing, but this gives the entire team a starting point for a conversation that takes into account all the key considerations.

“The thing that’s not quite there yet is how all the various teams come together, and how to discuss amongst them to see if you can work out the issues that are clashing. That’s where this new model might come in handy. If you can score things on what the importance is for the campaign or mobilisation, that could help in deciding.”
– Simone Langley, Coordinator Mobilisation Unit