Last week, a group of readers of our eJournal got together to explore what is possible for that communication piece. Using Catalytic Thinking as a guide, the group explored what that journal could make possible for readers, what opportunities it could create for them. From there, we talked about the conditions that would lead to that success, and then action steps that could create those conditions.
The following is a summary of that conversation, and the first steps of a plan to lead us ahead.
Question 1: Who could be affected by our eJournal?
The list was long, starting, of course, with readers of the journal. From there, though, we parsed that further. Who are those readers? And with whom might they share the journal?
That list included practitioners in the social change arena, wherever they are – traditional nonprofits, social enterprises, government programs, foundations, impact investors, and others. It also included anyone who wants to make a difference, which opened the door to elected officials and educators at all levels, AND to regular people seeking a new path to creating change in their lives, their work, their world.
And yes, the list included what the eJournal can make possible for Creating the Future as well!
Question 2: What can the eJournal make possible for all those individuals?
The list of potential outcomes for our readers was long, and yet all roads led back to this as the best possible outcome:
People will find their own path to what they can do to create change, wherever they are in life.
The eJournal can help to provide a path to a new way of being.
As happens when we use Catalytic Thinking to explore any topic, we see that creating those outcomes for our readers will be a giant leap towards accomplishing Creating the Future’s mission. And that would be an awesome result for Creating the Future!
Question 3: Conditions for Success
What are the dominoes that will lead to that success? What will lead to our readers having that path to hope, to a new way of being in their lives and their work? What will they need to see? What will readers need to feel? What would they need to have?
The following is a partial list. You can listen to the whole meeting here for the details.
People would need to have…
• self exploration
• self accountability
• sense-making / meaning-making
Connection with other readers
Connection with Creating the Future
• Joining meetings, joining communities, taking classes
Pathways to Behavioral Change
Pre-conditions for those conditions to be reality
In order for those conditions to be reality, readers must receive from the eJournal…
Spark their curiosity
• surprise people
• new, unusual things they are not seeing elsewhere
Ability to deep dive
• gateway to richness of the website
• gateway to social media discussions / posts
Easy to consume / digest
• short nuggets
• each edition focus on a single topic
• see themselves in the stories
Provide ways for people to personally connect to each other
• Welcome email when they register
• Everything is open for them to participate in
• Feel part of a movement – part of something bigger than themselves
• Feel comfortable stepping in
• Personal reaching out
• Regular feedback mechanisms
• Interaction – see it happening, build trust that they feel safe stepping in
• between the reader and other readers
• between reader and Creating the Future
• Be vulnerable, be human
• Identify the authors of content
Recommend other resources
Question 4: What actions will create all that?
After the meeting, it was easy for those of us who will be implementing these changes to have a pathway forward. A name change for the journal. Stories in every issue. References to other resources, outside Creating the Future, to engage with others walking this same path. Stronger facilitation of our current gathering place – the Facebook group for Catalytic Thinking in action.
These will be first steps. From those first steps, so much is possible for what’s next!
Again it became clear that if our readers are feeling all this, seeing all this, experiencing all this, that we will absolutely be accomplishing Creating the Future’s mission. From there, we can focus on growing our readership, knowing we have something solid that will help people when they subscribe.
It was also heartening to hear from the eJournal readers in attendance that the journal is good as it is, that the work ahead is to make it even more useful, more inspirational, more practical. We are on the right path already, just taking the next steps. That alone is energizing.
We are so grateful to everyone who participated in this discussion. And we look forward to any thoughts you have about what our eJournal could make possible in your own life!