I can’t tell you how much fun the ProjectCommunity team calls have been for me this year. I hope they are somehow useful and enjoyable to you, the learners. So hold that thought because I’m going to ask you about that at the end of these quick reflections.
Here are the insights I think many teams are developing:
- When you have many ideas, you have to prioritise and focus. I’ve starting asking teams about the criteria they are using to select their actual task for their client. We have been doing a lot of probing about value proposition — and for WHOM. Who is the target group of people? What do they want and need? How does that relate to the needs of their NGO clients?
- When you have a great idea, how and when do you know if it needs to be “let go?” On this morning’s call, that was a great insight from one team. They had a really terrific idea, but it might not yet be the right time to execute that idea. So they may have to defer it or even let it go. Hard, hard, hard!
- For almost all of the projects, there is a need to address at least three areas (see picture to the right): The content involved, the social architecture, and the . KEY HINT TO GROUPS who share a client: these things need to work BETWEEN your offerings to your client, not in competition with each team!
- The essence of Project Community is not how good one idea can be, but how the amplifying power of communities and networks can make that idea, that seed, grow into something bigger and valuable to the NGO client. The teams are just now starting to connect those dots. What is the network implication of their ideas? How can they grow and scale?
- The challenge of bringing ideas to a client also requires looking at the resources, time, inclination of the client to execute those ideas. I think we need to consider or talk about how we evaluate the feasibility of an idea. Not just how clever it is. What are the cost/benefit implications for the client?
- Finally, I have been asking most of the groups to stop, reflect and capture what they are learning. What are you learning? What are the implications for you? For your client? Why? Why? If we wait and try and capture all of these at the end, very often we can’t pull them out. These reflections, however, are an important way to see if value has been created. Value for each learner. Value for the client. Capturing these things in some way now can also make them available later when the teams have to make their final video/product presentation. (Yes, make a short reflective video each week. Ask your clients if you can record a quick reflection of their insights each week. Use snippets in your final product? Drawings? Great, take a picture now. White board doodle? Capture it. A lot will be left “on the cutting room floor” but trying to remember and recreate these things at the end of the course? Awfully hard!
Ok, I promised a question back to all of you at the end. I actually have two and I would LOVE your answers in the comments.
- What is working in our team meetings together? What can be improved?
- What is the most interesting or useful insight YOU have had so far?
I look forward to your answers.