Tag Archives: bikes

Facilitation Network Design Network Weaving

Structuring Chaos to Create Action

Novice volunteers got 100 people to Bikes and Brewvies - despite snow

Novice volunteers got 100 people to Bikes and Brewvies – despite snow

All-volunteer organizations are tough.  There is often a small core of volunteers ABSOLUTELY committed to the project, wanting help, and wondering where the help is.  That certainly applied (and still applies) to the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition where I volunteer.

We’re working to engage more people, and we ARE engaging lots more people.  Of course, with more people we are more ambitious so we still want more help.

Last winter, the Coalition wanted to organize more events — rides, happy hours, tabling — places where we could connect with new people and engage potential supporters and members in new ways.  Of course, none of our existing volunteers had the time to make things happen, so I decided to try and Make Something Happen. read more »

Affordable Housing Facilitation

Leverage => Change

I am constantly challenging myself to find effective ways to leverage change in the world.  Sometimes it’s minor, like how to reduce my yardwork responsibilities.  Often it’s ambitious, like reducing apartment building utility consumption across Minnesota, or changing culture to make bicycling so normal people don’t even notice they’re doing it.

The Social Innovation LabI embed those efforts into my work and life, not necessarily focusing on it as my primary goal.  That’s why I was honored when long-time friend and fellow consultant Michael Bischoff of Clarity Factilitation invited me (as program coordinator with Minnesota Green Communities) to participate in a Social Innovation Lab as a system change case study. The Lab will focus on identifying and working with leverage points for change in complex systems.

I want to share a couple of leverage points I’m using in my current work. read more »

Facilitation

A Facilitator’s Test

This month, I’ve been trying to figure out how to help colleagues take advantage of people who want to help out.  Basically, helping busy people get the help they want and need.  This is my daily task as the manager of a collaboration and meeting facilitator.  As of a couple weeks ago, I’ve volunteered to do it for volunteers, too.

I’m fairly involved in the one-year-old Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.  One of our main goals is to build our membership, our political clout, our base – and get more volunteers involved so we can get more done.  We want to build an organization that looks like this:

Engagement Pyramid from Groundwire

Engagement Pyramid from Groundwire

For our many successes in year one, on this front we’ve struggled.  read more »