Leading Insights. Jacqui Says…

…part of the Diamond Dozen 2016 series

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Jacqui Hamlin, Food Float talks about

community  .  teams  .  trust

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Elaine…  As a fellow Dorking resident, you are a bit of a local legend (I’m being serious!)  What advice would you give to individuals and/or organisations who wish to get more involved at a local community level?

Jacqui…  Firstly, find something you feel passionate about. From my local perspective, Dorking is full of amazing groups, so whatever it is that interests you, chances are there will be an organisation already involved with it…a little googling should reveal them. I’m always astounded by how much creativity is right here on our doorstep.  I’m sure the same is true in everyone’s local community.

Secondly, make contact with a few different groups to find a good ‘fit’ for you.  They all need help with volunteer roles, from the museum, music nights, film clubs, archaeology groups, PTAs, U3A or, my own personal favourite, Food Float. Try a few out to see what suits.

Whether you’re an organisation or an individual, if you can’t find something that fits then start one of your own! There are may proactive, sociable people out there and with a bit of social media you’ll soon find some like-minded people, so don’t be nervous, just go for it, and get involved.

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Elaine…  You are experienced in managing large-scale IT projects, what skills did you develop in this environment that have helped you with your community projects?

Jacqui…  Generally people who are involved in community projects have volunteered their time, so they’re pretty motivated to start with, but you do hit times where you have a setback and everybody feels a little low.  At such times or when times are tough I try to find a way for us to be able to laugh together again and to get the group re-focused and back on track.

I believe that most people like to be given a job and then entrusted to get on with it, because then they can ‘own’ it, and take responsibility for the success of it. I’ve found that the vast majority of people much prefer to work this way although there are always exceptions. From my experience this is as true in any working environment as it is in a community project..

I’m also particularly keen on setting milestones so that we can all distinctly see – and celebrate –  progress towards the big objective.

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Elaine…  Your projects mean working with a variety of stakeholders, both individuals and organisations, what are your 3 top tips for gaining buy-in and fostering support from people with differing priorities?

Jacqui…  I think it’s important to:

(1)  Identify the motivations of the individuals involved to ensure that they’re gaining fulfilment from their tasks, and meeting their personal objectives

(2)  Agree tasks to match their skill sets, so they feel more invested, and by best utilising their expertise the group benefits. They also have the personal satisfaction of becoming a group ‘expert’

(3)  Keep it interesting and fresh. Be open to input and ideas from all group members, whether new or existing

The whole idea is for people to enjoy their community project experience whilst meeting the objectives of the group.  And if in doubt…  throw a party!

 

Diamond_DozenLearn more about my Diamond Dozen 2016…

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