Jacob Okumu, Tatua Organiser shares his thoughts on the importance of keeping a single vision.
We have been working to form cell groups of parents that will come together with the purpose of discussing the importance of education and the goal of getting 40 kids back to school. Building these cells has been a challenging process, some members have been primarily focused on getting numbers so they went out to recruit already established community self-help groups to our work. They thought we could reconstruct them to focus on our community cell groups.
However, I’ve noticed a challenge of convincing the already established group with their own vision to adopt our goal. It is so important to have one vision, one core shared purpose that brings your team together if you are to be successful. Thankfully we have been able to either rebuild some of them or bring over some team members and form new groups, here is a photo from our recent launch in which 150 people turned out. Everyone who attended committed to joining a cell groups focused on education and getting four kids to back to school.
Do you agree with Jacob’s assessment on the importance of a single vision? Have you ever had a challenge with keeping your group focused on one single purpose? How did you respond in that challenge?
A process that needs constant revision, review and new ideas that can better the existing work plan.
In appreciation of this the leadership team in Ngong constructed a whole department known as the strategy team. Currently the group consists of four people who will constantly keep the entire team adhering to the plan and always be on the look out for new ideas that will better the current structure.
What are some more ways to increase the accountability and efficiency of campaigns?
Last week we held a meeting in Rongai. It went well, but we need to give our leadership team something to be doing to keep them engaged in the campaign.
Tony and I talked and saw it was a good idea to let them know we are having an event at the end of July so they should start having 1:1s with the community members. During these we want them to be asking them to come to the event.
Apart from that, we are going to lead them in organizing the event and see how it goes. One thing that really excited them was talk of team building and assigning specific roles and duties. That also excited Tony and me because it means they want to commit even more.
Team building is an essential skill in community organizing.
Each one of our communities is working on creating a leadership team and a team of volunteers to support their work. In order to do this successfully our community organizers will employ their skills in team building.
Jacob realized the importance of this the other day after speaking with some of the Ngong volunteers. They expressed their concern that they did not feel like a cohesive group. Rose and Jacob held a meeting where they set rules, norms, norm corrections, and next steps. After the meeting the group feels much more comfortable with each other and understand what their individual roles are and how they work together.
In the next coming weeks each of our communities will have a leadership team ready to work. Follow our blog to keep updated on the progress.