The YSPN strategy refresh is a process that has taken over a half a year, and the involvement and dedication of a group of volunteer executives who believe passionately in the mission and values of YSPN.
This website has been constructed to document and share with you the background for why we chose to conduct a strategy refresh, how we went about it, and what we’ve chosen to do now.
The new strategy we’ve produced is bold and paints a compelling future for what we can achieve collectively, not only for Sikhs but the broader communities we live in and serve. We have kept the elements of our previous strategy, like delivering events and advocating for the community, that has kept us in good stead and provided us with an excellent foundation from which to build upon. And in addition to these elements, we have also identified important problems to our audience resulting from changes in our environment, that we have a responsibility to solve.
If we are successful in pursuing this strategy, it will be because we have been able to harness the latent ambition of the fastest-growing religious minority in Australia and enlisted it for the purpose of helping to solve those problems.
This new strategy, therefore, will require the support of our entire community, believing in the power of our underlying values, coming together to ensure we succeed as a collective.
I look forward to working with our team, our stakeholders and members of our community, as we embark on this ambitious new chapter of our organisational story, and the story of Sikhs in Australia and New Zealand. A story that is broader and more inclusive than where we’ve come from. I hope you’ll join me in this pursuit.
YSPN was originally founded on the conditions that the Sikh community here in Australia has more that unites than separates us; a legacy worth preserving; a recognition that we are the custodians of that legacy and the first mass generation of Sikh professionals in Australia; and that as a consequence, we have a responsibility to do something with that opportunity; and we bear the burden of that responsibility now.
These conditions formed the impetus to found our organisation and the substance of our original strategy which created the conditions for young Sikhs to succeed and amplify their influence. Our strategy focused on instilling confidence in young Sikhs to pursue success in their chosen field and build a community around them for this purpose. This was primarily driven through events. In pursuit of this strategy, we as an organisation developed capabilities and expertise in technology and building services and products that solved community needs.
While we delivered on this strategy, the Sikh Community in parallel grew at an explosive pace, to become the fastest-growing religious minority in Australia with 125,000 Sikhs in Australia as at the last census in 2016. Our research into this growth uncovered that as a community, we are younger, better educated—attractive qualities for any community—but that we are employed, predominantly, in structurally declining industries like transportation and hospitality.
Faced with these two themes, our organisation was required to make a choice, to either:
- Continue doing what we’ve always done, by doing more events at higher levels of quality
- Or to change our organisation, and use our strengths to help an even larger group of people
To make this choice, we went through a thorough, collaborative and inclusive process to arrive at our answer.
This process consisted of meeting with our geographically dispersed teams and conduct a strategic envisioning exercise, answering the question of ‘
what a world would look like in five years if YSPN was no longer required to exist’ and what we would need to do now to create that world. These meetings told us that our teams believed:
- We want to see Sikh Leaders, and that their character matters
- We want seniors Sikhs to mentor junior Sikhs
- We want migrants to be supported
- And that, we want Sikh values to positively influence society
That as an organisation we choose to do the work of transforming our organisation into one that serves a significantly broader audience because we believe it is the right choice. It is our moral responsibility as a group of young people
who have benefitted from the opportunities that have been provided to us to carry this forward and to help others. And also, because there is an underlying risk that if we don’t our community will bifurcate like Sikh diaspora community elsewhere in the world. We also recognise that we can’t simply grow our organisation to do this, we’ll need to work smarter and leverage our strengths to get there.
We took these responses from these meetings and used design thinking through workshops with our Executive team to develop fleshed out solutions to these points in our Annual Summit held in Melbourne in September 2019, and then tested our thinking with eminent Sikhs in the community, expert stakeholders as well as other interested organisations.
The result of this process is a new strategy that means:
- We have a new mission statement: that YSPN channels sewa for the development of ethical Sikh leaders for a productive and inclusive broader community
- a new set of strategic pillars, and key activities that sit beneath them:
- We develop and amplify ethical grounded leaders
- Mentoring program
- Leadership fellowship program
- We ignite the dormant economic potential of migrants
- CV Checks and Casual Career Counselling
- A Buddy program
- Development and curation of relevant content to help migrants get past the culture gap quickly
- We enable our community to develop their professional capabilities and network organically
- The continuation of our events
- The development of online spaces to help people network organically
- Licensing our intellectual property so that other people can host YSPN events outside of our permanent chapters
- And we co-ordinate sewa across our community
- The development of a project management framework to place people with motivation and skills into organisations and project that need them
- We develop and amplify ethical grounded leaders
- And a consequent change in our organisation structure to position us to grow and succeed as we transform our organisation and pursue these strategic objectives.
The remainder of this new strategy microsite details the story in more detail, including an explanation and breakdown of the key initiatives as well as the metrics we will use to measure our success in these initiatives.