Stone SoupHow 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)