This exercise pertains to GrantCraft's guide, Scanning the Landscape 2.0: Finding Out What's Going on in Your Field.
1. Identify scanning example:
Think about a specific time when you were trying to learn something about your field or community. Jot down brief answers to these questions:
2. Think about scanning styles:
There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to scan, but many of us can benefit from expanding our natural inclinations.
3. Include different points of view:
Funders have told us that one of the hardest things about scanning is figuring out their own gaps and blind spots – and finding ways to be in touch with people who are unlike themselves. What are a few specific things you’ve learned—and how did you learn them—from:
Are there instances where you learned something that made you anxious or uncomfortable –and how did you deal with it? In hindsight, what might you have done differently?
4. Develop techniques for ongoing scanning, dealing with information overload, and using digital tools
Not all of us choose to do formal scans, but each of us is engaged in everyday activities that can help with scanning. Several funders highlighted the issue of information overload. Meanwhile, numerous digital tools have emerged in recent years to make scanning easier and faster. Think about ways to look at your own everyday activities as an opportunity to scan:
Listen with New Ears
Think of a few specific settings, people or activities to which you have access.
Divide and Conquer
What are a few strategies you’ve used or can see using to divide up the work of an opportunistic scan, so that different people are responsible for different sources or topics?
This might be within your foundation or in other settings where people would be interested in sharing the work of scanning.
Creating the Infrastructure
For opportunistic scanning to become an everyday practice, your infrastructure for documentation and analysis will need to be disciplined but not too burdensome.
What are some specific strategies and digital tools you’ve used or can see using: