Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (P.A.T.H.)
The following is a summary of the steps the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority staff followed during their 2005 planning session. The steps are similar for all PATH sessions. A facilitator and a graphic recorder lead groups through the steps.
STEP 1 – Touching The Dream
Sometimes referred to as the “North Star”, the Dream is the fundamental part of the PATH process. It will be the expression of the organization’s vision. Within it are found the seeds for the future of the organization’s accomplishments, based on the hopes and the motivating, driving forces of the current group. The dream is an expression of identity and orientation and gives direction, but it is not the goal.
STEP 2 – Sensing The Goal
The goal is an invitation to all participants on the PATH to travel forward in time to describe what it is they will have created and accomplished as they approach their dream. It is, in effect, a listing of the results of what effective work towards the dream will look like. In determining the goal, PATH participants will use the thinking tool of “looking backwards”. As a group they will imagine that success has already occurred and describe the changes that have resulted, as if they were real.
STEP 3 – Grounding In The Now
This step in the PATH process is where participants have to ground their search for the dream and their goals, in an honest description of what currently exists. This is an important part of the PATH process, for if they cannot accurately reflect what currently exists, it becomes difficult to understand what is needed to approach their goal.
STEP 4 – Identifying People To Enroll On The Journey
At this point in the process participants will know where they stand, having been part of the first three steps. In this sense, all will “enroll” in the PATH and the difficult work ahead, unless of course some participants have significant difficulty with the direction of the journey. This step goes beyond this however, and involves naming all those not participating who are essential for the realization of the goal in its fullest sense. They will be asked to be very specific ie) who exactly needs to be “enrolled” and who will do it.
STEP 5 – Recognizing Ways To Build Strength
In this step, participants identify the strengths they will need to move along the trail to their goals. These strengths could include a number of things such as knowledge, new skills, helpful relationships and individual expertise.
STEPS 6/7 – Charting Actions And Work Over The Next Period
This can be accomplished in one or two steps, but whichever option participants choose, the essence of the process is to name specific actions necessary to move them along the way to meet their goals.
STEP 8 – Committing To The First Steps
This step will ask participants to clearly define how they are going to move from the “thinking” stage to the “doing, action” stage ie) this is the time to demonstrate that their PATH will not become simply a paper plan.
Summary produced by:
John and Nerina Robson,
Robson Rural and Community Health Partners,
842 Haney St.