I’ve had a million ideas over the years, I am sure everyone else has too. There are so many of them, I really don’t want any more. There is so much good work already – I think getting that valued is the most important.
Strength in Numbers
I am planning to run workshops in Birmingham and London. They will be practical and focussed and give you some time think about :
- How important is measuring your work to you?
- What does value really mean?
- The importance of sharing and why we don’t go all the way!
Value is an individual thing – it means different things to different people? its quite personal? Yet we all talk about it professionally, without exploring if we mean the same thing . The most common one I encounter is people talking about social value to people who are talking about cash value and neither clarifying what they mean.
This is about unpicking those terms and putting them together. it is about how to put existing things into good shape and useful systems. Then everyone wins!
I worked in communities for many years, and for many of those years only we knew the value of what we did. Not in cash terms, or value to others, but to our clients, the people we worked with. The trouble is that unless other people know , then there is a danger that the work may not continue.
I have met lots of organisations, I think they are all at different stages of thinking about what they need or want to do in order to prove their worth. Some resent the very idea, some shout about it, most just gather the information their funders want them to and only share it with them.
I think a ‘coming-together’ is necessary, a chance to discus and debate what is needed, who is where, and how the work done in communities every day is identified, measured, valued and shared. The community sector is relatively small, compared to the people that fund it. It could find strength in numbers.
But it takes a bit of time, understanding and acceptance, development of shared terms and priorities.
Mostly the things I do come down to being a bridge. Joining one person, one organisation, one sector with another – it’s talked about all the time, it’s rarely achieved in real terms. It’s the single most difficult thing. This is why we often end up only talking to others who are like us or who already agree with us. So I am talking with public sector people too – the coming together and really joining is the key to getting stuff done and that is hard and tricky, you have to trust and persist – but when it happens, people’s lives are changed. So it really is worth it.
I am planning on running these FREE workshops in Birmingham and London in June and July, details will follow so watch this space… Please share and comment, it’s about practical solutions to persistent and difficult problems and we need people’s experience – good and bad.