Project update 3: becoming creative

Writing a comment to Simon Berry's item here pretty much took care of this update. As I said there - after a deliberately messy start followed by some getting organised we are now becoming creative, and ready to move to production of work packages.

Simon reminded us that we aim to have project proposals completed by April 30 to put to funders and other potential collaborators. That's possible because different people's contributions are coming together. This was always meant to be a collaborative process - and it is working.

Sophia Parker has provided us with first research thoughts, and also led the way on openly sharing the issues that arise within organisations by publishing the RSA Networks interim evaluation. I see that as a real breakthrough: I hope other organisations will follow suit.

Megan Griffith has followed up first ideas on a guide with a more detailed outline that pulls together threads from the blog items that I and others have been throwing on to the site. Phew, glad it makes sense!

Peter Day has offered ideas on participatory learning workshops, and Steve Dale offers community of practice facilitator training. I'm meeting up with Drew Mackie on Monday to develop more ideas for a workshop game that we will run at the NCVO membership conference on April 22. We'll also be drawing on the products and service development work Simon's team are undertaking at Ruralnetonline. Dave Briggs continues to develop the etoolkit which we can link to the social media wiki.

I think all that will fit into the framework emerging:

Research: I hope Sophia and others can develop further the ideas around what she has called "the journey from 'membership' organisations to 'movements', and what that means for the nature, structure, purpose, and business models of existing membership organisations", and turn those into a potentially fundable proposal. You will eventually find those summarised here.

Strategy: this is where we will address how membership organisations can mix their overall organisation development strategy with technology development informed by the issues Megan is outlining in the guide. In practical terms that will mean developing the guide a wiki/booklet linked to the workshop game and other methods to help organisations plan their futures. I think there's lots of scope here for working with consultants, trainers and others in the field.

Products and services. Developing these will involve a mix of new items developed from strategy work, and assembling what people have on offer at present. Simon and I will be working on that over the next couple of weeks - with input from anyone else interested.

So what next?

  • I'll endeavour to turn this analysis into a clearer invitation/proposition to put to additional potential collaborators.
  • We'll use the NCVO conference on April 22 as an opportunity to pull ideas together and test them on just the sort of organisations that we aim to serve.
  • We will aim to organise a get-together of people who would like to form a core group to help take things forward.

Meanwhile, if you want to contribute ideas, offer products or services, do pitch in with a comment or get in touch directly.

David Wilcox