A checklist for engaging people

Many change models, Hidden Insights included, stress the need for engaging people in change early on.  To do this, we need their active co-operation, and involvement, often in focus groups, large-scale events such as Open Space or World Cafe or just in conversations.  But you’ve got to get them to turn up in a positive frame of mind, ideally ready to volunteer to get involved….

Here’s a checklist, based on experience of implementing successful employee and community projects.  Its parent comes from the successful MRSA reduction project in the USA, recorded in the book, Inviting Everyone, Healing Healthcare Through Positive Deviance, by Arvind Singhal, Prucia Bruscell and Curt Lindberg.  We’ve added some learning of our own.

Great Invitations offer genuine and authentic hospitality

A good invitation will let you know that you will be treated with generous consideration, and ideally food.  Your needs will be attended to and your contribution will be valued.

Great invitations are personal

We like to be asked personally to come to an event by someone we admire, trust and respect.  We are more likely to come if it looks as if it will be enjoyable and significant, designed with me in mind, ideally by “someone like me”.

The invitation itself is attractive and easy to find

A tempting invitation is visually interesting and appeals to my interests.  It’s clear about why I should come.  I get it in a way that’s easy for me – for example an older person might get a personal letter, and a young one might tweet it and retweet it.

It’s an invitation that’s easy to say yes to

The event is more likely to attract people if it’s shorter, somewhere easily accessible and familiar, safe and convenient.  We come to you.

Appealing invitations are specific and hold no surprises

It’s clear why I’m invited, what I can expect, where the event will be, how long it is, what’s involved and what I can contribute to it.

I can see a benefit for me in coming

There’s a promise of something familiar and something new and interesting.  A balance of both is important, with a sense that this should be positive and enjoyable, looking forward to the future.

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