How to Convene a Group

  1. The effectiveness of the group is your responsibility. You need to be a leader first and a manager second. If the group has a problem, it's your problem. If you can't fix it, seek help (quickly), don't ignore it - that never works.
  2. The direction of your group depends on its charter. Ensure that it communicates effectively to anyone interested in joining the group. Update the charter to reflect accomplishments and changes in direction.
  3. Develop your network to identify people with the skills and talents that the group needs to achieve its goals in an acceptale period. Recruit them.
  4. If you are not enthusiastic about the group's role, neither will be the members.
  5. Don't just recruit people who agree with you. Groups can be a pain, but they ARE highly effective when a broad range of personalities and skills are available.
  6. Consider your options for effective communciation within the group and between the group and the outside world. Individual emails, mail lists, Wiki, blog, web site, Skype, phone and meetings are all effective at times and useless at other times. When in doubt, communicate in some form regularly, not just the annual conference!
  7. For anything more than a single email, have an agenda. What do you want to convey and what do you want as an outcome?
  8. Meetings cost. Sometimes, however, a meeting is the only way to progress. Organize meetings to come away with an outcome rather than planning an outcome. Members need to invest time beforehand. Set aside R&R time. Get someone other than yourself to take minutes. Write up a meeting report  within days of the meeting and post to web site.
  9. Prepare summary presentations for the annual conference.
  10. Keep your web pages up to date. These pages are your public face and recruitment advertising. Post a news item at least every 3 months. If there is no news, nothing is happening.
  11. Celebrate milestones!
  Last Modified: 21 February 2007