How is it possible to move from a vision to an action?
A show of hands please from those of you who have been frustrated by: a) too much talking, b) too much thinking, c) too many ideas, d) lack of leadership, e) lack of workers, or f) a combination of the above?
Yesterday I attended a day-long workshop titled “From Vision to Action”. Hosted by the United Way of Greater Victoria and the University of Victoria’s Office for Community-Based Research, it was one of seven learning sessions on skill building for volunteers and community workers in Victoria, BC. Despite a lot of sitting and listening, the day was a refreshing experience.
Eight people gave “lightening” presentations on small scale, local projects and how they learned to bring them to life. These are a few of their lessons:
- Start small
- Use the project as a tool for community building
- Work across differences & go far beyond your comfort zone
- Be generous, be enthusiastic, be patient
- Document your work
- Fun is often underrated; it creates cohesion
- Market early & market often
- Create connection, create exchange, create selflessness
- Function before form… if it isn’t working change it
- Know yourself (your organization)
- Create a volunteer database
- Leaders have to work with everyone, at their level
- Become a tangible community asset
- When someone says I want to help, you know you’ve got a good idea. Then, get off your butt
- Study the community space to make sure you fit in
- Work “rhizomatically” (invisible connections, horizontally)
- Use metaphors and imagery to make sense of your idea
- Have social meetings with no expectations
- Bring chocolates
At lunch, we had Stone Soup from ingredients contributed by workshop participants. Actually we had two soups – which were both awesome!! (Yes, there were chocolates too)