We often get asked at Make a Change how to build momentum for your change project. This is a big question and there’s lots of actions that need to be taken. We’ve come up with our top 3 tips which we think are fundamental before anything else:
1. Create a bold vision
If you have an idea or you’re working on an initiative that’s about making a difference and you want to build momentum then you need to make it exciting. A bold vision is the first step. This vision could be for any initiative such as for a project, an organisation or even an entire town! It could be something you want to see in a month’s time, in a year’s time or much much longer. It really depends on the issue you are addressing and the change you want to make.
Here are some examples of bold visions we love:
- A Million Meals in March – Bendigo Community Foodshare’s vision to raise enough funds in March to feed the equivalent of a million people
- Eat Up Australia – a new not-for-profit that provides ready-made, healthy and wholesome lunches direct to disadvantaged children at no cost. Their vision is to take the program nationally. They have already grown to 21 schools in Victoria in a short space of time.
- 100% Renewable Energy – a community campaign for clean energy. Their current project is about building a voice for Solar, an essential element to realise the 100% renewables vision.
- Renew Newcastle – Saw that vibrancy of Newcastle township was declining including 150 empty buildings lining it’s two main streets. Had the vision to make use of the empty shops with creators and makers and has now completely revitalised Newcastle.
- Bendigo Blues n Roots Festival – had a vision to bring live music back to pubs and venues in Bendigo, five festivals later and this vision has been realised.
2. Live, breathe, own your vision
Once you have your bold vision, you need to own it and be excited and inspired by it (as opposed to being overwhelmed by it!). This can be hard to do and you’ll have your ups and downs with it. When you are at a low point, the trick is learning to put aside all your concerns, constraints and things that are stopping you to get back on track and re inspired by your vision. After all if you’re not inspired it’s going to be pretty difficult to inspire others!
The main purpose of this is not so much about realising the vision, it’s about the vision inspiring you to get into action and in turn others. You may never reach the vision but you have to believe that it’s possible and generate an infectious excitement for others to get on board.
3. Share it with everyone, everywhere!
There’s no point having a bold vision and being excited by it if you keep it to yourself. You need to share it with everyone! Face to face and phone conversations are the best. Of course back it up with other channels such as social media, but building momentum is about getting people on board and in action and this is best done through conversations.
The more you’re inspired and the more you share it the more you’ll find out the actions you need to take and the more other people will show up to come on board.
Of course there are lots of other things you need to do to build momentum for you projects – such as a good plan followed by a comprehensive communications strategy, a certain level of commitment and determination to keep going, making lots of requests and building a team of people to implement the plan.
And you’ll have days where it gets too hard and you don’t want to do it anymore, believe me I’ve had many such days! (This is the topic of a future blog called “The importance of peers, support networks, mentors, coaches”)!
That’s where days like Let’s Nut it Out
and Expand Your Impact
come into it. These skills development days for changemakers are the chance to assess where you’re at with your vision, explore what’s needed now and how you’ll make that happen.