MAPOut 2021: All About Our 5-month Hiatus

In Spring of 2021 MAP staff participated in an intensive study and strategic planning process called the “MAPOut” in which we stepped away from external work for 5-months to focus on shared learning and clarifying our organizational purpose. 

What We Did

Took A Break 

We started the MAPOut with a staff-wide week off. This allowed us to enter the planning process refreshed and ready. It also inspired us to build breaks into the rest of the process.


Our time studying deeply together helped us build a shared understanding and analysis of our people’s conditions and how to develop strategies to transform them. 

Reflection & Hard Decisions

We reflected on our work from the last 15 years and made some truly hard decisions to spinoff critical work into new organizations and to develop a strategy clarifying MAP’s purpose. 

Strategic Planning

We laid out a 1, 3, and 5 year implementation plan to transition into this new direction & sunset work we won’t be continuing with integrity and honor. 

Key Lessons

Conflict is Generative and Necessary

 A process to make big decisions like “what will be the purpose of this organization?” is inherently filled with contradictions and conflicts. So we studied how crucial conflict is for growth and making the choices necessary for good strategy. We worked to embrace conflict throughout our process and build our practice of direct communication and principled struggle. 

Rest Is Critical for a Sustainable Movement

In order to bring our best thinking into the space, we prioritized moving at a sustainable pace and letting discussions fully unfold. We took a lot of breaks to restore our bodies and minds. If we didn’t, what we achieved wouldn’t have been possible.

Leadership is Held Both Collectively and Individually

Our entire team was involved in planning and executing the MAPOut. We tried on collective decision making and made many of the ‘big’ decisions about the organization’s future as a whole team. We also used the MAPOut as a space to explore how we all can play unique roles and exert leadership as individuals.

Intention Eases Change

The decisions we made were difficult–they meant we’d lose staff, have some staff transition into new roles, and ultimately split our team into three new orgs. It required (and still requires) that we all do two vital things: embrace uncertainty by practicing trust with each other while also being very attentive to our human needs, grief, and complexity.