Friday, 3 October 2014

#The45Plus Culture: Building Trust

In my previous post I looked at how the culture of the #VoteYes campaign has differed from #The45Plus and how #VoteYes replicated some of the practices of organisations that have changed the world. Here I want to explore how we can go about setting up the same culture for #The45Plus community.

"The company has created a culture that is high on trust, low on politics, great at sharing resources and sharing resources, wealth and the work is full of meaning and significance." "Google Employee  

High on Trust & Low on Politics
As #The34plus community is so large I think that a culture of high trust and low politics is vital to the communities success. We are a diverse group of people and may not have very many other similarities. Indeed we may have views that are polar opposites, which could easily lead to very low levels of trust and high levels of suspicion.

The "5 Stages of Tribal Leadership" table above shows the potential for what this will look like. If low levels of trust then there will be despairing hostility, if high levels of trust then we will all be super connected, have a sense of belonging and will think that we're all great and, through every one being connected and willing to collaborate, the potential for #The45plus to change the world will be very real. Look at what this has achieved in 2 weeks.

45 Vs 55: Divisive? Or Suspicious Mindset
However, although we've had a great fortnight... In my opinion there was far more attributes of "Stage 5" leadership on the 19th and 20th Sept and since then things have become a little more fragmented and A LOT more arguments, not least the fight about #The45plus being divisive which, as I have explained previously, is not the case. 

The reason for this fracturing of this fantastic movement and opportunity is because of some politicians poor leadership qualities, they have (at best) a "Stage 3 mindset" from the table above which is "I'm great, you're not." 

This can be seen by the in-fighting and low levels of trust that takes place within their parties and with other parties.I would be tempted to question the leadership ability of these people and, if at Stage 3, why would anyone want to listen to them? To demonstrate how wrong they are and how much damage their suspicious, mistrusting mindsets are please take a moment to read one of these two posts;

The Funny Version: Son's of #The45Plus... Why Do you Leave? Bairns Not Bombs
The Serious Science Version: #The45Plus: It's a Mindset

Collaborate... As if your Country Depended on It
If #The45plus community is going to take the lead from any political party, make sure its the right people. Some people who I believe to appreciate the principles at play is the architect of all this, Alex Salomd as well as the guys over at Brave Many, The National Collective and Wings over Scotland. This is not because I support them, but based on meritocracy: Look at the number of followers they have. For those that were involved with the Yes campaign look at scale of their outreach and levels of trust they have established with their partners... Including competitors.

The #54Plus is a massive community and its going to take the advice of some very experienced community managers to pull everything together. Here is what I found when I asked this group, how do you encourage competitors to collaborate with each other?

Collaborate as if your Company & Country Depends on It
Yes Alliance Trust... #The45Plus Trust
No matter what might divide us whether political party affiliation or ideology, race, class, nationality we need to take a leaf out of the Yes Alliances book and put our trust in each other to do the best for this community... "To fake it 'til we make it!" The Yes Alliance didn't start out harmoniously and colaboratively, they had to work at it! #The45Plus is going to have to decide what it stands for is it;

1) A group of people who moan amongst themselves "what could have been" or to become a breeding ground for ardent Nationalists?

How will this strategy appeal to any of the 55%? Will any talk of ousting Labour/Tories be nothing more than "Preaching to the chior?" In which case a Tory/Labour-less Scotland will be nothing more than a fanciful delusion as this group conduct online polls amongst a group that is entirely made up of nationalists as no sane no voter would dare to enter the discussion?

2) A group who is committed to community outreach to show how this renewed activism can positively impact on Scotland and their own town/city?

Compare this with a community of 1.6 million who have established a welcoming environment for the "Other" 55% to discuss non-political projects, which are aimed to make a difference in the local community. Will this strategy have more of am impact with converting "No voters?" Or will asking the 75,000 activists to spend a few hours in the community win more people over than just attending rally upon rally to discuss politics and where "We're great" and they are not.

Trusting Culture
Do I not know Brave Many, The National Collective and Wings over Scotland well? No, I've only engaged with them in a few Tweets... but that's been enough for me to think "These guys seem to know what they are talking about on this issue and DEFINITELY  have #the45plus best interests at heart.

Therefore I'm going to suggest that #The45plus trust these guys to develop a #The45Plus Culture and I'm going to trust that #The45plus community adhere to any guidelines that they set. If you question the value of any such guidelines I suggest you see Giving Culture a Sporting Chance (Especially the section on "The Absence of Culture")

With there be teething issues with getting thousands of people with few similarities to come together in a trusting and collaborative environment? Sure there will! Will we need to "Fake it 'til we make it!" Yep. Will there need to be a concerted effort to work at this? Absolutely!

Can we do it? Let's ask Amy Cuddy, if #the45plus community will have super powers shall we? BTW Is here body language saying a big fat "Yes" compared to the "No, Thanks" of the people on screen? Let's change "Yes Scotland" so it's not a divisive concept but to a collaborative mindset

Who we are & what we will be: Mindset & Body Language will shape #Theplus45

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