While in Savannah, one of the questions those we met with had was the “how” behind getting started with collaboration projects. People have seen videos and read posts about projects, but a step-by-step how to was asked for. To keep things simple, we narrowed it down to four steps:
1. Get to know someone and what they like to do or what they’re interested in — what does a person enjoy doing? Where do they like to spend their time? What roles or activities are enjoyable? What things are of interest them? This can be vague: “I like movies.” Or this can be specific: “I like participating in my church community.” We then tease out the why and the what behind these interests. Why do you like movies? “I like the stories they tell.” What do you like about participating in your church community? “I like that I am included in the choir.”
2. Find some people who also like those things too — where do other people who like those things (sports, music, poetry, beer) gather? Who are the people in nearby neighborhoods who are already involved in these things? What places host events related to this interest? Meet these people. Who else likes storytelling? What places support storytelling? Who else enjoys being active in that church? What do people do in the church? Find these people. Find these places. Ask more questions and get to know them.
3. Do something. Create something. –once you’ve found a few people and perhaps a place that shares the common interest, hobby, or activity, brainstorm together about something new that can be created, or something interesting than can be done together. Ask “what if we…” and “why not…” often. Give people permission to do the things they’ve dreamed of.
4. Celebrate. –this is a simple step. Appreciate the work and the planning. Celebrate the event, the meet up, the collaboration project. Go out to dinner. Attend an event together. Buy a round of drinks for the crew. Have a good time and mean it.