When you are trying to figure out which strategies to advance, it’s helpful to understand where you are likely to get a quick18 win and where you will need to be in it for the long haul. Both are important.
Quick wins can help build strategic relationships, create momentum towards a larger goal, and establish a track record of success, which in turn establishes credibility.
Long hauls are often necessary when the political will for change is weak, you need to achieve multiple policy goals, or infrastructure for implementation is currently insufficient or absent. In these situations, it may take time to strengthen relationships and move the conversation on a particular issue, but that time can lead to a significant bundle of wins down the line.
The indicators below will help you assess whether you are looking at a quick win or long haul. But keep in mind that you don’t need to choose between them. In fact, your best option will often be to pursue both.
Holding work concurrently—moving forward on a quick win while continuing to develop and implement a long-haul strategy—can allow you to seize emergent opportunities, build momentum over time, and adapt to changing contexts (including shifting political winds). If your work is effective, you’ll start to see indications of change even if the movement is far below the surface.