How To Host a Growth Meeting

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Overview

The growth meeting is a weekly or biweekly meeting to foster a pirate presence in you local area. All Pirate members are encouraged to host these meetings, and make their results public.

A Growth Meeting:

  • Is attended by at least 3 Pirates
  • Serves to network, brainstorm (policy and PR), & onboard new Pirates
  • Is recorded and published to the Wiki.

Supplies

Pirates should bring:

  • Membership forms
  • Pamphlets and Handbills
  • All in attendance should bring laptops and notebooks.

Purpose

The Meeting's purposes:

  • Recruit new members, and empower them to act independently
  • Brainstorm policy, promotional stunts, and talk about potential projects
  • Share the results with the rest of the party

Length

The formal meeting (Introductions/brainstorming) Should be scheduled for 1.5-2 hours. People are free to go as long as they want, but we want to make meetings accessible by keeping them concise.

Introductions/Updates

It's good to open the meeting up with having everyone introduce themselves. If they are new, it's good for them to talk a bit about their interests and what they want to do in the party. Ongoing members should explain a bit about what they've been doing recently. This section of the meeting is important particularly for new members.

It's also important to start directly at the time the meeting is scheduled for and not wait for people. If they are late, they can jump in. We must reward those who show up on time and show we respect their contributions. Time is precious.

Brainstorming

The bulk of the meeting should be an active discussion and collaboration on a meeting document. An example of a meeting document: Vancouver_2016-05-01

All of the people attending the meeting should be sharing a piratepad (www.piratepad.net) and recording the disucssions that they are having together and brainstorming. You can also write what is on your mind - without talking about it. We want to maximize collaborative time. We would like to create documents that are fun to read for other pirates, and stimulating for policy discussion in the future. This raw collaborative data can be used as the basis of platforms and further analysis.

Every growth meeting document should be posted to the Wiki afterwards for all to read and consider.

Dissensus

Rather than seeking consensus on all issues, when there are hard forks, we split into smaller groups. We can record more than one conclusion or recommendation in a single meeting. We're fostering an environment where ideas are welcome. It is ideal if people split off into smaller groups of less than seven, this encourages maximum participation.

Leadership

Every Pirate Meeting should have a facilitator or leader who dictates the direction and focus of the meeting. The job is not to steamroll others, but to encourage everyone to participate as effectively as possible. It's also the job of the leader to make sure the meeting is fun and welcoming.

We are all responsible to co-educate, to co-lead, and to Eliminate the Gap.

From Swarmwise:

1. Newbies need specific and direct instructions. Focus on explaining the actions and how to do them properly, not their purpose in the greater scheme of things.

2. Newbies who are trained in the actions required but are getting frustrated from their lack of context need a different type of leadership. They don’t see the road ahead or feel progress. This leadership style drops the specific instructions and encourages them while explaining why these actions get positive results.

3. The third stage is when someone is proficient in the skills needed but is still not in their comfort zone. They have the ability to deliver but they do not yet believe in themselves. They need endless encouragement.

4. When someone is motivated and self-reliant, they have become your equal. They are initiated. Now they only require encouragement specifically when they have gone the extra mile. The thing to keep in mind is that you should be recognizing when something really is the extra mile. Nobody who is self-reliant wants to be commended for performing routine and trivial tasks.

You need to assess every individual you work with and function with an understanding of their specific context.

On-Boarding

New members need special attention paid to them. Welcome them, field their questions, and give them an assignment before they leave. Newbies need specific instructions (ie. please add some links to "The Hook" this week, you should write down your ideas about <x> on the wiki!, bring some friends next week)

Our core messaging for new members:

  • We are a pluralistic party, and this gives us a great deal of personal freedom.
  • Our core messaging is about information and how it is treated in society (open society, educated society, transparent society)
  • We are seeking to win at least one seat next election.
  • We are fighting at all levels of government to be elected (Federal, Provincial, Municipal) and registering sister-parties is encouraged.
  • We can change the world, it's going to be hard work, but it's worth it.

Facilitators:

  • Hand out handbills and membership forms to members to bring to their communities.
  • Ask newbies directly: "Will you join us?" Tell them: "We could really use your help."
  • Use "we" statements and avoid "I" statements.

Party Priorities (May 2015)