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SOC473 Community Development: Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders. Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders. References Kahn, S. (1991). Organizing: A guide for grassroots leaders (Rev. ed.). Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.

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soc473 community development organizing a guide for grassroots leaders

SOC473 Community Development:Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

References

Kahn, S. (1991). Organizing: A guide for grassroots leaders (Rev. ed.). Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.

Kotter, J. P. (1990). A force for change: How leadership differs from management. NY: The Free Press.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders3
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Leaders

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders4
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

What Personal Qualities Should a Leader Have?

  • Likes people
  • Is a good listener
  • Makes friends easily
  • Builds trusts easily
  • Talks well (not necessarily a great public speaker)

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders5
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Helps people believe in themselves
  • Can let others take the credit
    • VERY IMPORTANT TRAIT!!!!
  • Works hard
  • Does not get discouraged too often
  • Has a sense of her/his own identity
  • Asks questions

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Is open to new ideas
  • Is flexible
  • Is honest
  • Is self-disciplined
  • Is mature
  • Sets limits
  • Is courageous

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders7
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Has vision
  • Has a sense of humor

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Leadership

versus

Management

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Creating An Agenda

  • Management
    • Planning and Budgeting--establishing detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results, and then allocating the resources necessary to make that happen
  • Leadership
    • Establishing Direction--developing a vision of the future, often the distant future, and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision

(Kotter, 1990, p. 6)

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders10
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Developing a Human Network for Achieving the Agenda

  • Management
    • Organizing and Staffing--establishing some structure for accomplishing plan requirements, staffing that structure, providing policies and procedures to help guide people
  • Leadership
    • Aligning People--communicating the direction by words and deeds to all those whose cooperation may be needed so as to influence the creation of teams and coalitions that understand the vision and strategies, and accept their validity

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Execution

  • Management
    • Controlling and Problem Solving--monitoring results versus plan in some detail, identifying deviations, and then planning and organizing to solve these problems
  • Leadership
    • Motivating and Inspiring--energizing people to overcome major political, bureaucratic, and resource barriers to change by satisfying very basic, but often unfulfilled human needs

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders12
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Outcomes

  • Management
    • Produces a degree of predictability and order, and has the potential of consistently producing key results expected by various stakeholders (e.g., for customers, always being on time; for stockholders, being on budget)
  • Leadership
    • Produces change, often to a dramatic degree, and has the potential of producing extremely useful change (e.g., new products that customers want, new approaches to labor relations that make a firm more competitive)

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

What Skills Does a Leader Need?

  • Working with people
  • Issues
  • Meetings
  • Organizations
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Money (finances)

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Research
  • Communications
  • Media
  • Training
  • Culture
  • Institutions
  • Politics

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Public speaking
  • Staff supervision
  • Power

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

How Can a Person Learn Leadership Skills?

  • Through experience
  • Reading
  • Formal training
  • Find a mentor
    • This is the a very important step

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Good Leaders versus

Bad Leaders

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Issues

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Organizing Around an Issue

  • An issue is a problem that people feel strongly about and want to do something about.
    • An issue is a “good issue” if it is a problem that can be solved by people working together in a local community.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders20
Examples of Possible Issues

Housing

Crime

Spouse abuse

Road

Underemployement

Job discrimination

Law enforcement problems

Disability problems

Job training

Day care

Environment

Recreation

Jobs

Transportation

Health care

Drugs

Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

What Makes a Good Issue?

  • A good issue is winnable.
  • A good issue builds the organization.
  • A good issue unites people.
  • A good issue affects lots of people.
  • A good issue involves people.
  • A good issue is strongly felt.
  • A good issue is simple.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Winnable Issues

  • When dealing with those who are not used to “changing the course of action” in their own lives…it is very important to take “small steps.”
  • It is more important to work on small steps and succeed than to work on big steps and fail.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • For example, if there is a dangerous intersection in a neighborhood that puts the children at risk…which goal is more likely to be achieved (think cost)…
    • A new traffic light
    • A new set of stop signs

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • If you build everyone up that you “MUST” have traffic lights…and then they only get stop signs…many people will perceive that as a failure.
  • But, if you state that you want stop signs…and in the course of negotiation with the city…say, “what would it take to get traffic lights?”…either solution will be viewed as a success.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Members

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

We live in a society where people have been reduced to numbers…People feel isolated, unvalued, uprooted.

Personal contacts are at the heart of any organizing drive and of any people’s organization. No skill is more necessary to leaders in our organizations than to be able to work effectively with people.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

In organizing we move from the individual to the group. But we need to start with the individual. People need to make up their minds individually…that they want to commit themselves to beginning to change their surroundings…A neighborhood with a hundred families needs to be organized one family at a time.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders28
Where to Meet People

At their home

At your house

At church/synagogue

At school

In the hospital

At the supermarket

At work

On the phone

At the barbershop

At the beauty parlor

At a ball game

On the street

In a restaurant

At the bus stop

At the courthouse

At the shopping center

At the bowling alley

At the post office

At the laundromat

Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

People are naturally suspicious when somebody shows up on their doorstep. They might think you are selling encyclopedias or checking up on them from the welfare department.

Generally speaking, when a stranger shows up at the door of a poor or working person, it is bad news. So explain as quickly as you can why you are there.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Real World Techniques Used in Developing Contacts With People in a Community

  • Introduce yourself
  • Ask if you can come in
  • Talk about something that you know they are interested in
  • Find something in the home to talk about

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Talk to parents and kids together
  • Meet them on their level
  • Know the subject
  • Know yourself
  • Know when to listen and when to talk
  • Talk about one thing at a time
  • Let them talk--hear what they have to say

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Learn their feelings
  • Look at them as you talk
  • Explain things clearly
  • Try to get them involved
  • Let them know they are important to you and the community
  • Let them come up with ideas

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Ask questions
  • Watch their facial expressions
  • Give them praise
  • Do not argue
  • Do not try to force them to think your way
  • Do not curse
  • Listen more than you talk

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Answer questions as you discuss a subject
  • Never cut them off
  • Do not insult them
  • Do not gossip about or put down others in the community
  • Do not make promises that you cannot keep

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • If you do not know the answer, get back to them
  • Or have them call you
  • Use the phone to follow up
  • Pick your time
  • Keep your cool
  • Know your limits

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • Stay assertive
  • Be yourself
  • Know how to delegate responsibility
  • Make arrangements for the next visit
  • Give them a reason for meeting

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

One very important (but boring task)…

KEEP RECORDS

of all contacts!!!

Why is this important?

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Meetings

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Meetings

  • Meetings are a basic organizing tool
  • Make people feel comfortable
    • Soft chairs instead of hard ones
    • Arrange chairs in a circle rather than in rows
    • Find a location that is neutral

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders40
Important Points about Meetings

Plan the meeting in advance

Talk with people before the meeting

Prepare an agenda

Keep the agenda short

Keep the meeting short

Start on time

End on time

Have a good chair

Let everyone talk

Keep meetings small

Provide child care

Use a convenient place

Keep it loose and friendly

Have refreshments

Ask questions

Reach a decision

Divide responsibility

Write it down

Follow up

Celebrate

Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Strategy

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders42
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

S

W

O

T

Analysis

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders43
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Strengths

W

O

T

Analysis

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders44
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Strengths

Weaknesses

O

T

Analysis

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders45
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

T

Analysis

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

organizing a guide for grassroots leaders46
Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

Analysis

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Strategy is like a road map…it is a plan from where we are to where we want to go.

Planning strategy is like planning a trip. The same decisions need to be made when an organization develops its strategy as when a family takes a vacation.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Planning a Family Vacation

  • We need to decide whether we want to travel by car, bus, plane, or train.
  • We need to choose the route.
  • We need to consider the difficulty of the route.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Planning an Organization’s Strategy

  • Planning a strategy begins with the knowledge of where we are and where we want to go.
    • Starting point
    • Membership’s strength
      • Skills and abilities
    • Finances
    • Allies
    • Research

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders
  • An organization’s strategy needs to include activities that build up spirit, that keep people interested and involved along the way.
  • An organization may run into roadblocks while trying to carry out its original strategy.
    • It needs alternative strategies, just in case.
      • This possibility needs to be built into the strategy.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

Many of us at vacation time want to throw everything in the car and take off. Organizations often act that way. There is the excitement of getting started, of wanting to move quickly, of hurrying to get where we are going. Too often the organization simply throws everything into the car and takes off. As a result many trips end in disaster at worst, and at best with less of a good time for their members than could have been had with good strategic planning.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

What is the Difference between Strategy and Tactics?

  • Strategy is the overall plan for how we are going to get to where we are going.
  • Tactics are the specific things that we do to help us get there.

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender

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Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders

What Makes Good Strategy?

  • Thought out well in advance
  • Builds on the experience of people
  • Involves people
  • Is flexible
  • Has depth
  • Is rooted in reality
  • Is based in people’s culture
  • Is educational

© 2000, 2002 by Ronald Keith Bolender