Smart Mob Organizing

Liz Guthridge is a results-oriented, award-winning change leadership coach and consultant with extensive communication experience. She specializes in supporting department leaders of organizations who are introducing complex new initiatives or making other changes that may confuse, disrupt or upset internal stakeholders. Connect Consulting is an independent and specialized management-consulting firm focused on clear and credible change that sticks.

An Excerpt from a past podcast: Connecting People

Joe:  Could you explain smart mob organizing for me?

Liz: Smart mob organizing came from the book about a decade ago called “Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution.” Back then, the concept was about giving power to the mobile many. Over the past 10 years it’s evolved, especially inside organizations, which is where I work and play, about bringing together a group of employees for a common business purpose. You generally use technology and electronic media or classic technology like the Powernoodle I mentioned. One of the advantages of doing it with the technology as opposed to in person is that you can cast a wider net and get more people to participate in more geographical areas. You don’t have to all be in person. You can hear more diverse voices because of that, especially the ones who are quiet, who are not necessarily going to speak up in you’re in a face?to?face session.

It’s also really well when you want to do something quickly because you could run a session, get people to generate ideas. You can do it in, depending upon the complexity, as little as 90 minutes or so from start to finish. Or you could spread it out over a week or several weeks, depending upon how much people need to do, think about it, and do other things.

So, for example, I recently did for one of the professional associations I work with, they were doing their, it’s kind of embarrassing for them to admit, first strategic plan. They were gathering in the Bay Area, which is not too far from where I am, but we only had basically that seven hours to work in total. They had to have a regular meeting as well, a business meeting.

What we did through Powernoodle was to do a SWOT analysis, and we did a SWOT analysis with a double T, not only looking at threads but also trends. I had a question for each. They had a committee setup to be working on their mission statement, and that committee had gotten totally bogged down. We did a smart mob organizing around the mission statement.

By the time they got together in the Bay Area and we had finished the smart mob organizing and I had looked at all the data, put it together for them in a report which we presented, we were able to come up with a very sound, strategic plan. Basically, a one?pager was objectives, goals, and tactics in five hours.

Joe: It sounds like reverse school or reverse learning? where you bring the homework into the classroom.

Liz:  Exactly. It’s perfect for flip learning, yes.

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