Friday, March 21, 2014

Relaunch case study 3 - The Power of the BHAG

This one isn't a Friends of the Earth group, but it's a very good example of how a vision can remind a group of their purpose in being.

  • The chair of a local environment group had stepped down over a year ago, after several years of successful campaigning.
  • While the group were still active – organising events and running campaigns – the leadership decided that a renewal of the group was required to ensure its long-term viability.
  • They decided to head-hunt themselves a new chair.
  • The chair worked with the committee to develop an ambitious vision for reducing the energy footprint of the local area, engaging communities and businesses, growing the group and raising money.
  • He presented the vision to interested members at the AGM as an idea of what the group could do if it looked beyond the immediate future and sought to change the town.
  • The vision also suggested a number of immediate steps which could be taken – it was both optimistic and realistic.
  • The group are now in the process of taking ownership of the vision both as a programme of work for the future but also as way of sharing the group and its mission to others.
  • They are also making a number of practical changes to their ways of working including:
    • Increasing the number of people active in the inner circle by expanding the committee.
    • Changing the meeting venue from someone's house to a public venue
    • Looking at ways of improving their electronic communications.

Tim comments: if this was a Friends of the Earth group, a staff member could have also supported that visioning process, helped with the search for a new coordinator through volunteer advertising and invited national supporters to the AGM or an event

It's also important to note that they took this decision while they were still in a position to do so - too far down the cycle of activity into 'winter' and the best vision in the world might have fallen upon deaf ears.

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