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Author Archives: kevin

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The Next Generation

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I mentioned yesterday that the last section of the book I’m working on is about cultivating nascent communities. Part of that is investing in the next generation. How does a community bring in new energy? How do they invest now …

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Communities and Gardening

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Today I wrote an intro to a section of our book entitled “Once you’re big, go small.” It’s about cultivating nascent communities and helping your group evolve. Organizing a community is a lot like gardening. You can water, nurture, plant, …

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Leadership Rich

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The image of the singular leader is a myth. A good test of a leader is how well they enable leadership among those they serve. Instead of being the most valuable node in the network, they build the network’s value by …

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Mobilizing ≠ Organizing

Posted on by kevin

Mobilizing isn’t the same as organizing. From  Marshall Ganz: “I want to make a distinction here between mobilizing and organizing. Mobilizing is getting people to sign the petition, show up at that rally, or click the mouse. Often that’s a tactic …

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Successful Organizing

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For any type of work, defining how to measure success is a critical undertaking. Clarity around success metrics helps us make decisions big and small. Yet defining success is especially tricky if your work involves organizing people towards a common …

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Communities and Structure

Posted on by kevin

My former boss Jerri, once said: “A community isn’t a community unless it’s organizing itself.” Structure like guidelines, hierarchy, roles, and expectations can help a group of people effectively organize and operate. But too much structure can be stifling. Too …

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How to Keep Track of Your Community

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Today I wrote about what data to monitor as you or your organization work to cultivate a community. The most important thing is to pay attention to who keeps showing up. Observing how many people regularly participate, discovering who they …

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Building Blocks

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A few years ago, I was introduced to house dance—a dance style that originated in Chicago and New York clubs during the 70s and 80s. I’d seen the movements before but it took awhile to match the dance with its …

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You Can’t Fake the Funk

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I thought about Austin‘s quote today while I drafted a short section for the book I’m working on with Bailey and Kai. Here’s an excerpt from Monday’s stab at a chapter entitled “You Can’t Fake the Funk.“ (Thanks Sharon for saying …

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Brevity Through Structure

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Ten years ago, I participated in my first facilitated workshop. Our facilitator Helene kicked off with how to write on post-its: “Use the thick sharpie. That way you can’t write too much.” Communicating with brevity is a challenge. But when …

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