Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Resolutions and revolutions - a reflecting, visioning and team-building exercise

Here's a home-brewed networking tool I ran at the North East Regional Gathering for Friends of the Earth last month. It aims to give people a chance to:

  • Chat informally with each other about what they've achieved
  • Share their plans, campaigns, and challenges for the coming year with each other and with staff
  • Identify points of commonality 
  • Expand on issues and ideas
  • Find out what skills and knowledge they can share with each other and the support they would need to seek from outside (like staff).

I think it works as well with a mixed group of people from different organisations who are sharing ideas and inspiration as it would in a single group when you're trying to build a team and a sense of common purpose. 

The live test suggested it worked best with two facilitators. Depending on numbers it could take between 45 and 75 minutes, so in the outline plan that follows I've gone for the middle ground of 1 hour.

0.00 – Introduction and float time

00.05 – Ask people to get up and talk with someone 

(preferably someone they don't know that well or someone from another group)

1.Introductions (if needed)
2.High points from last year’s actions and campaigns
3.What you (and your group) hope to be campaigning on this year
4.Where you’d like you (and your group) to be by the end of 2014

00.20  Ask people to add the other person's answers to questions 2 to 4 on post-its to three flip-charts on the wall and look at each others' thoughts. Don't forget to put your partner's name on their post-its. 

00.30 – Discuss each of 2 to 4 in the round

Encourage people to talk about their answers - get feedback, identify connections and commonalities.

Let people ask questions about each other's ideas, learn together about the issues, campaigns etc

Capture challenges as they come up - the purpose of the session is not to dwell on them at this stage but ensure they are properly acknowledged..

00.45 - Encourage people to complete a skills and knowledge audit over the break 

To make all this amazing campaigning happen:
  • What do we have in the room that we can share? Skills/knowledge/other? 
  • What do we want in terms of staff support? 
  • What would we need to overcome any challenges identified.

For an example of a proper skills audit see this excellent Navca exercise. I tend to go for a more rough and ready approach using two flipcharts - one for skills/knowledge/resources/contacts the group can share and the other for what they want (same four categories).

1.00 - Wrap-up 

Don't forget to be suggest and collect ideas as to how you will share and all will follow up on these ideas!

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