Engagement 101: Get Out of the Office! (Road Tour Post #1)

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Clouds dancing in the skyI’ve started this post 100 times in my mind. Every time, a new story rises to the top…

“Today 75 business students from around the world gathered to learn how to use cause-and-effect to create powerful results…

“Today a young change-maker identified steps to create the world she wants to see…

“Today a group of 30-something men and women gathered over coffee, to explore how they can participate more actively in their community…

It is Day 42 of the first-ever Creating the Future Road Tour, taking this mission of possibility on the road across California and Northern Nevada. Every one of those days has brought new learning, new opportunities, new connections to real people seeking to create a better world.

At a time when everyone is trying to figure out how to cut through the noise, the purpose of this tour has become more clear every day we are on the road:

Cutting through the noise is easy
when you meet people face-to-face,
building real relationships,
one person at a time.

And all that takes is
getting out of the office,
and going where people already are.

Get out of the office. Get out from behind your desk. Go talk to people.

For us, every aspect of this journey began with the 3 questions at the core of Catalytic Thinking:

• What result do we want to see? And results for whom?
• Who else cares about what we are trying to do? What could we accomplish together?
• What do we have together, that can make this effort soar? 

Clouds at SunsetWhen we applied those questions specifically to our engagement efforts, more questions arose.

• Why are we engaging people? To what end? 
• Who will be affected if we engage more meaningfully, and what could that connection make possible for them? (The uniquely human superpower of being able to intentionally create a future different from our past!)
• What will it take to engage and involve them in deeply meaningful ways?
• What do we have to build upon together? (The Collective Enoughness question)

Over the next few weeks, we will document what we’ve been learning about the answers to those questions, and especially how you can apply those learnings to move your own mission forward – whether that is a work mission, a personal mission, or simply a thing you want to accomplish anywhere at all.

We will tell the story of meeting a tech guru turned social entrepreneur.

And the story of a college professor who spent decades helping to strengthen communities in West Africa, who now teaches change-makers from around the globe what it takes to actually change the world.

We will share the story of a stay-at-home mom who turned “getting help for her family’s own mental health issues” into changing the lives of hundreds of families in her community.

And the story of an activist whose activism is connecting people, opening her home and her Rolodex, introducing the people she knows to the causes she believes in.

And so many more…

We will share the resources and potential we discovered in places no one thought to look, until a handful of people with insight uncovered what had been there all along.

We will share photos, too, like the ones in this post – photos of our first day on the road, when the skies entertained us the whole way from Tucson, Arizona to our first stop in Los Angeles.

And importantly, we will share every tool we used, showing you the actual charts and notes and plans we use to create this 2-month-long engagement effort and make it a success.

Map with locations starredFor now, here is the agenda we followed.
• Tucson to Carson City, Nevada
• 4 days in Reno and Carson City
• Bay Area for 2 weeks
• Back to Carson City for a week
• Fresno and California’s Central Valley for a week
• Antelope Valley, the outside-the-city part of Los Angeles County
• 10 days in LA, then home to Tucson (with a quick stop in San Diego)

By the time we arrive home, we will have put over 4,000 miles on our tiny car.* We will have had direct, personal encounters and conversations with over 100 specific individuals we can now consider friends of our mission, as well as hundreds more who have heard the message of what is possible – in group settings all across that map.

Nothing about this trip has taken super-human powers or tons of money. What it has taken is simply answering the questions at the top of this post. What results do we want? We want a more humane world. Who else cares about that? Everyone! What do we have together to build upon? THAT is the Collective Enoughness upon which this journey has been built.

Bottom line: You can do this, too. And over the next few weeks and months of telling this story, we will show you how, every step of the way.

How did we plan for this tour? What were we hoping to accomplish? And what was the spark that led to this tour in the first place?  Find out in Post #2 here. 

* For those who are listing the reasons you couldn’t dedicate 2 full months to getting out into your community, we did not have a grand SUV for this tour. We packed everything we would need for 2 months on the road into a 2010 Hyundai, unpacking and repacking the Clown Car at every stop. No excuses, you have everything you need to get out of the office and meet the people who could benefit from and/or support your mission.

To see photos from our grand 2-month adventure of engagement, check out Hildy’s Instagram here. And to bring Creating the Future to your community, drop us a line and let’s chat about what’s possible! 

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