Monday, February 5, 2018

Getting out of the Office!!

For many years while the late Krishan Joshee was the Chairman of the Wild Rose Foundation (a lottery Foundation long before the creation of the Wild Rose political party) he would take his Board to meet with community members on their turf. The Board would travel to communities and meet with volunteer groups; listening to their success stories and challenges they were facing. The Staff of the Wild Rose Foundation then tried to respond through tweaking grant programs or incorporating sessions into the Vitalize conference.

The take-away was that everyone needs to get out of the office and meet "the folks" on their turf, listen to their successes and the issues they face.
What I've noticed over the last 15-20 years is that governments have cut travel budgets for front line staff and there is very little listening going on. Lots of talking to "ourselves".



This applies to Non Profit organizations as well. "Engaging Community" means the door swings both ways! You engage on their turf and in their facilities and you invite folks into your space for input and group sessions.
If you don't leave your building you aren't really building relationships....social media is not like a firm handshake, or a piece of pie, a coffee and a chat in a rural Canadian coffee spot.