Sustainable groups

Looking through all the Transition groups along the south coast it’s clear that small clubs are at the heart of operations, whether it is Garden Share, Hearts and Minds, Energy or putting on Plays, yet there is a sustainability element to all groups, not just in Transition but across the club world of the UK. This includes the overarching Transition Group itself, which in some areas is struggling.

So what makes groups sustainable?

The same kind of questions are asked in business, as even when paid, some project teams are highly productive and others struggle to get to the finish line.

The learning from business is that sustainable groups are ones which not only achieve but FEEL they are achieving, which will also remind us of the importance of Celebration. And link this to How to Kick the Habit psychology, we find the need to have targets and to work in steps to achieve them.

Choosing targets does not always feel easy, set them too high and people feel they are failing, set them too low and they don’t feel challenged enough. This is where leadership comes in.

There are no clear criteria for good leaders overall, because the kind of organisation they are trying to lead and the context in which the work vary so much that you need and benefit from different leaders at different times. Leaders in times of crisis are often not the best leaders when things cool down, as poor Winston found out, rightly or wrongly.

Fighting fires is not the same as creating forests.

So what kind of leaders work with Transition Groups? Well, it would be good to know, so how about we create a leadership survey for Transition? If you think this is a good idea I will start one, and well, I may start one anyway.

My sense is that as we are all volunteers, leadership tends to be very democratic, but at times so democratic that there is no clear sense of where we are going and how we get there or what the steps are on the way. So groups lose their sense of purpose, watch out for that.

To counter that there may be some groups which get driven by an autocratic leader, which works for a while but then loses momentum, in the end everyone gets fed up  with being told what to do and newcomers see what is happening and drop ot before being committed. If you are wondering about your groups, you could ask them and ask yourselves, what kind of leadership do we want and what kind do we have? It feels like an embarrassing question, but the planet may be depending on your addressing this kind of issue.

In the end the planet is the thing that is providing the leadership. If we get the targets wrong the planet will tell us. And at the moment, it is telling us to leave, maybe?

Hasta luego, let me know what you think about a leadership survery by Email or through replying here so we can talk about it.




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