A guide for Thought & Action Group Chairs, Champions, Leads and Co-ordinators
Historically, Sub Groups focused on specific issues identified by the Task Force, and SIGs were set up by members of the Guru group where they have a specific shared interest/challenge. We now refer to all groups as Thought and Action Groups, including local and regional groups, and topic and sector specific groups.
Chair – facilitator of people’s energy
Champion – represents and champions the group across EFS networks
Co-ordinator – project manager, keeps the group on track
Lead – facilitates and manages the group and its outputs
- Make sure that you have a committed Chair/lead and co-ordinator before you start the group. If you don’t have a co-ordinator, consider whether to ask an organisation to provide one, and become a ‘sponsor’. Consider setting up a group on an industry/sector basis rather than a generic level if appropriate.
- Be clear about the purpose of the group, and begin with a workshop to agree how you want to operate. You might want to invite the Exec Director or Research Director to co-facilitate. Set the overall context for the group, and how it relates to the EFS movement. Agree on the vision, the terms of reference and the ways of working, and share the EFS Code of Conduct. Decide on the outcomes of the group, eg white paper, insights, toolkit.
- Be clear about when and how you will present the work of the group. eg presented to Taskforce, at a conference, through events, or to the Thought & Action Steering Group. What is your deadline? How will you disseminate the outputs more widely?
- Create a human and emotional contract. Be an engaging leader, passionate about your group. Share insights about your motivation and encourage others to do the same. Where possible, have individual conversations with members of the group when it forms, and create strong relationships.
- Set realistic expectations, and manage the ebb and flow of membership of the group. Create the right balance for your group between being output focussed and knowledge sharing and inclusive. Encourage and enable group members to contribute their ideas and get involved in the outputs of the group. If members’ time commitments impact on their ability to participate, allow them to step out of the group and invite them to review or simply access outputs, and re-join as their time allows.
- Make sure that you have the right mix of skills in the group. Invite experts to join or participate in the group if you need additional expertise.
- Understand the dynamics and neuroscience of the group. Create an environment where people feel able to contribute fully and to challenge, where they enjoy being part of the group and have fun!
- Stay connected, and share your experience across groups. Use Yammer (or other social networks) to continue your conversations and share documents outside your meetings. Arrange face to face meetings for co-ordinators and Leads to share experience and insights about what helps the groups to work well. Tap into the EFS core team to support you with this.