There are a couple of regional projects developing that I am lucky to be a part of because great people keep coming back together to work towards a common goal. What encourages them continue to make these projects, and the necessary meetings that go along with them, a priority? According to Abigail Stevenson, Collective Impact Forum, some “f-words” could be the deciding factor in keeping steering committee members coming back.
- Family: Leaders often come to the table because of a personal relationship with the issue. By encouraging committee members to share their personal stories, you can draw out their passions and find that the issue is near-and-dear to their hearts. This goes for friends, too.
- Frustration: Leaders often come to the table because of a frustration with the status quo. Maybe the efforts have failed before or were not well coordinated to go the distance. To ease this natural frustration try to find at least one strategy that can be implemented with small success quickly. This keeps the group moving to attainment of longer-term goals.
- Finances: Committee members may represent groups or businesses that have a financial stake in the project and its outcomes. Encourage open conversations about the financial consequences of the current situation, and how their financial interests are assets in creating positive change.
- Facilitation: Good facilitation at steering committee meetings is essential in building the buy-in that keeps members coming back. Productive meeting yield results, and when members see action happening, they are spurred on to continue.
Steering committees that have the right people in the room, and work hard to keep them engaged toward the group’s goals will be sustainable. Knowing what “f-word” is bringing each of your steering committee members to the table can provide helpful guidance in bringing them back.
Reference: What Keeps Steering Committee Members Coming to Meetings? (Hint: F-words!) by Abigail Stevenson