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Category:Clarity of Purpose

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   Definition: Network members must have a clear and common sense of how the world will be different as a result of the network’s work. This vision must be evaluated, ranked and refined by network members. The network must have a sense of potential contradictions and compromises, and how to deal with them.  
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   Conversations in progress:
   1. How can we feel out the network vision?
   2. How can we build a shared sense of purpose? 
   3. What does this look like in the 'real world'? Share stories and examples by adding 'articles' below.
   add your thoughts and reflections below...

Feeling our your network vision: what to explore and ask:

  • Is there a clear, articulated vision? Is it philosphical, political, tangible?
Network members share a common vision.
  • What are the "breaking points" for this clarity of purpose? How much wiggle room exists? What are essential, versus option/variable components members must subscribe to? What's definitely not included? What definitely is included?
  • Are the right actors needed to affect that change involved and/or considered? What roles do various actors need to play?
  • Does the network understand what steps and milestones are implicit to achieving their clarity of purpose? Any "grey areas" or lack of milestones intentional?
  • How do you know when the desired change has been achieved?

Building your network vision: what you can do

  • Define what definition of success members feel must be commonly shared. Which are open for interpretation? Note that many networks don't necessarily know the answers to all of these questions up front. Rather, members and leaders often use a "gut sense" of what's in and what's out, and establish various processes for more formally responding to anything that arises that goes against that sense.
  • Define processes for expanding or enforcing their vision when necessary. Who will be involved in those conversations? How will decisions be transparent, and captured for future benefit of the group?
  • Consider what components of the clarity of purpose can/should be reinforced through network materials/branding. Logos, website buttons and email signatures can all help.
  • Consider which components of the clarity of purpose can be reinforced through various interactions including events, volunteer activities, etc. For example a group with a broader social justice mission might participate in a local group volunteer event to reinforce the common member interest in certain issues.
  • Have members draw their vision of the world - or what a typical network member might look like. This will also help the network identify and fine-tune appropriate language, strategies and activities.
  • Share how network members perceive success. Document group successes. Capture that information and revisit it periodically. Recognize network functions that will support various network members definition of success.
  • Post, share and vote on new ideas to grow the network.
  • collective priority-setting: a web-based inititiative would allow participants to post resolutions or ideas to be voted upon and discussed by others conferences, retreats

Photo Credit: Red balloon photo: Source: JeromesPOV:

Articles in category "Clarity of Purpose"

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