GROUP PROCESS – 12 Steps to Action:
A structured group process for creative problem solving, facilitated by someone who can write everyone’s thoughts on flip charts and guide participants through the steps below, can help move diverse groups to action.
1. Two or more people start the HIVE.
Jerry Lee Miller in sun glasses and Kevin Miller, thinly disguised as a clown, “Connected the Dots of Climate Change” and then formed our Lancaster HIVE.
2. One is Convener and Task Owner. Jerry Lee Miller has been an environmental thought leader for years. He has recruited our HIVE and he is our leader and guide.
Jerry has been very active in the Tar Sands Action, organized by Bill McKibben to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. None other than NASA climate scientist James Hansen declared "It's essentially game over for the climate!" if the dirty Alberta tar sands oil is extracted and burned. Jerry was arrested with 1250 others during a 2 week period in front of the White House, including several from Lancaster,York and Harrisburg PA. He then organized 2 buses from central PA to join the Surround the White House demonstration on Nov 6, 2011. Above, Jerry in DC.
3. Another serves as process facilitator. Kevin Miller has been a consultant/facilitator to Fortune 500 companies for 22 years and now uses those skills for this cause.
4. Gather a diverse hive of worker bees. Offer coffee, drinks, food, music, toys, art, paper and pens. Ask all participants to introduce themselves and express a goal. Write everyone’s goals numbered up front.
5. Rules of the Road for Brainstorming:
To avoid speeches and encourage rapid ideation, it is wise to offer and enforce Rules of the Road.
6. Everyone gives ideas in 7 to 10 words. The facilitator stays out of content and writes what is said without editing or judging at all.
Encourage offering all ideas to the facilitator for writing on flip charts so that no ideas are lost. Ask participants to report the content of side discussions.
7. Circle and initial ideas to develop. Each participant selects one or more wish ideas to write up in more detail as Concept Sheets.
8. Write Concept Sheets.
Each participant writes Concept Sheets including: A.) A short title for the concept, B.) The name(s) of the author(s,) C.) “What is the idea?” — words right off the flip chart or new words, D. “How would the idea work?” — more details, next steps, etc. Kevin can draw rapid images such as these to provide concreteness to ideas.
9. Report Back Concepts to the group. If there are artists present, ask them to draw rapid images to go with each numbered Concept. Create a display wall.
10. Advisory Group Vote on Concepts: Give each participant 5 or 10 stick-on dots to put next to their 5 - 10 favorite concepts.
11. Nominate Concepts for Action. Each person may nominate a concept or cluster of action concepts. Team names. Next steps.
12. Regular HIVE Support Meetings: Teams report progress and/or problems with various projects. The HIVE offers creative problem solving and support. Cohesiveness is important. Accept different approaches to activism within the HIVE. Don’t waste time arguing about those differences. Just act!
Themes for posters were identified in conversation with key players in the HIVE about core issues and needs, prior to our second brainstorming session.
The cover poster for this document was inspired by Bill McKibben’s 7/19/12 Rolling Stone article, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” and served as our central theme image for the HIVE’s ideation sessions.
Contact Jerry Lee Miller to start a HIVE in your community. firstname.lastname@example.org