David Wilcox's comments
Great points , Andy. I know Lloyd - and others - are really keen to find the lightest, most appropriate structure both as a practical solution for Tuttle and a way of showing what's possible. Can you spare any time for a Tuttle govenance group?View Comment
Thanks Sophia - On a slightly different front I'm doing some work with Community Housing Cymru, whose members are housing associations. They want to connect better with their members - both staff and Boards of housing associations - and help them engage better with resident/customers. They are willing to discuss openly some of the cultural issues that arise.
I've also bumped in the National Coalition for Independent Action, who don't like the way that the community and voluntary sector is going in public service delivery:
The Coalition is a new alliance of organisations and individuals who have come together out of frustration and anger to object to the state of UK Voluntary and Community Sectors. We believe there is a crisis in our ability to act independently from Government and other powerful interests, and to be part of the checks we need within our democracy. This threat to independent action will, unless challenged, undermine our civil society, our political health, and the capacity of communities to get what they need for themselves.
As you'll see here Stephen Bubb, chief executive of chief execs organisation acevo doesn't like them for challenging his and the government's agenda.
I mention these because it could be useful to get quickly some different perspectives and figure out a framework to map the issues arising.
Thanks Dave ... another social media demo: how a few characters on Twitter provokes a blog post and a conversation. Anyway, I wasn't of course taking a pop at any membership organisation - but rather, as you say, hoping to start just the conversation that we are now having. If people can self-organise to get great conversations leading to social and business connections, will they pay membership subs? Or rather, what will membership organisations need to do to provide additional value?
In fact it isn't self-organising in this case. Tuttle is really down to the subtle non-directive leadership that Lloyd Davis is providing. And it isn't going to be without "organisation". As you'll see in the video, Lloyd was using time today to put some ideas/requests on the wiki about Things To Do. If the club is going to have premises, help on recruitment, consulting etc it will need to incorporate and have some governance structure. How do you do that without the network turning into a centralised clique (classic problem).
It is incredibly simple ... and if a group of people at an event do it, their videos can be grouped together. That begins to blend the online and offline a bit more.View Comment
Following Dave and Laura on publishing, music, membership: here's the model from Broadstuff which shows how authors and conventional publishers are challenged by online content creation; and how proams can benefit. What's the equivalent for members and membership organisations? I'm no ecomomist, and it is probably a different model, but it sparks some thoughts.
If you pay your subs to an organisation they deliver connections, services, maybe reputation. If you organise for yourself, you have to invest time and effort to get the services, find the people, build the reputation .... unless, of course, you are doing that already. The implication is that membership orgs may have to offer services, opportunities, to well-networked people that are rather different ... or risk losing them. I guess that's always been the case ... VIPs get special status to pull them in to the organisation and so attract others.
At the same time any online offering from a membership organisation that wishes to attract/retain networked people will have to fit that offering to their sophisticated target market. In the past that might have been "we have a better online walled garden". These it is much more likely to be "we are as capable as you are online, all over the place".
Anyone good at models?View Comment
Simon - thanks for taking on the report back! As you say, we have set ourselves the target of April 30 to bring together a first set of project proposals to take to funders and 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.View Comment