facilitating & hosting

Some resources on core teams

I recently found myself going back through my resources to offer some guidance to clients on creating a core team.

The gist of core teams: Almost all successful participatory projects start with a small group of people who care and hold the flame for the work. Often, in the rush to act and meet deadlines, this critical first step is overlooked, and a “magnetic field” isn’t created that holds the energy and centre and instead it fizzles out or falls on one or two people’s shoulders alone. If we wish to build collaboration and engagement through our process then we must practice collaboration and engagement in the design and delivery.

A compilation of resources on creating core teams

Here is a two-pager I updated about core teams, based on writings from folks like Chris Corrigan, Tenneson Woolf, and others in the Art of Hosting community.

Here are some previous posts I’ve written that have some insights on core planning teams:

Also, here are some questions I offered one group to think about (again, useful for both invitation as well as core team creation):

  • Who do you hope is in the room? Who cares and could make a difference?
  • Who has expertise from inside the community and county that needs to be in the room?
  • Who are partners, or groups, that might be forgotten or left out?
  • What new people could you invite into the conversation?
  • Who are indigenous groups, or indigenous-led organizations?
  • Who will be affected by this work?
  • What diversity do you seek (gender, age, ethnic, racial, economic, hierarchical, etc) that reflects the diversity of the community?
  • Who is trying to get in the room but can’t?
  • Who is the “perpetual majority”, and whose presence can help shift that?
  • Who has the authority to accelerate or impede this work and how can we involve them?

The above questions can be a useful “gut check” – does your current core team reflect the diversity of the answers to the questions? And if not, how might you respond and adjust?

A core planning team needs to be reflective of the people we are seeking to engage as people trust invitation from people who are like them. Strong core teams are made up of the diversity of the system – diverse groups of people are wiser, smarter and more effective than small homogenous groups.