This article explores the ‘moving the rock’ concept put forward by Daniel Hunter in his book Strategy and Soul. The concept has been valuable for campaigners and organisations reassessing their theory of change and particularly how they engage politicians and supporters.
Strategic questioning is a powerful tool for social change which helps people discover their own strategies and ideas for change.
Nothing precedes purpose. The starting point for every organisation or movement should be the question ‘Why do we exist’? A number of tips for focusing an organisation on vision and purpose. An excerpt from Purpose Driven Campaigning, based on Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church.
Rick Warren focuses on five ‘circles of commitment’ – community, crowd, congregation, committed and core, and argue that it’s important to recognise where your supporters fall in these categories, and develop processes to move them from the outside in. An excerpt from Purpose Driven Campaigning.
Learn about Daniel Hunter’s metaphor of moving the rock to bring about social change through activating people’s social values.
Tips for training or other events which connect people to a campaign and help individuals overcome their barriers to action. As organisers we can use the momentum of the group to leverage people to action – like a turbo-charged persuasive conversation.
Giving and receiving feedback is a core skill for people engaged in social change projects. These slides and related text outline what can maximise or minimise the effectiveness of feedback and useful phrases.
A process guide to be used in training workshops and planning sessions to develop campaign strategy. This process will help reduce the scope of campaigns in order to focus efforts on where change can really be achieved, and consider the possible consequences of working on one part of a problem rather than others.
The Community Organising Guide is 296 pages of training resources to deepen our understanding of core organising skills: relational meetings and self-interest, the power of story in organising, building alliances, coalitions and networks, holding decision-makers accountable, leadership development, recruitment, doorknocking and phonebanking.
Keith Kelleher tells the history of fastfood worker organising – complete with employer dirty tricks, ambitious organisers, and efforts to rapidly scale up. Low wage workers are now organising nationwide for a new minimum wage – The Fight for $15.
The story of how GetUp successfully organised in the seat of Bass to remove sitting MP Andrew Nikolic at the 2016 federal election. Lessons include the power of mixing online and offline; the power of mixing local with national; and have the local lead the national.
The midterm elections in the US have delivered the House of Representatives to the Democrats. Why did this happen? The nation got organised into opposing Trump. And one of the major forces behind that organisation is Indivisible.
Joel Dignam reviews Marshall Ganz’ approach to story as fundamental to organising. Through story we understand happenings, communicate our values, and make sense of our choices.
Joel Dignam reviews Ground Wars, Rasmus Kleis Nielsen’s hands-on ethnographic study of two competitive congressional campaigns in the 2008 US election. The book is a richly-detailed portrait of contemporary field campaigning.
Civic associations depend upon volunteers to get their work done. Joel Dignam distils insights from Ruth Wageman and Richard Hackman’s “Designing work for individuals and for groups” from Perspectives on Behavior in Organizations.
This article outlines a model for thinking about the different levels of engagement of people involved in a campaign; what kinds of things people at each level can do, and what support they need to do those things; and how people can move from one level to another, aka a ‘ladder of engagement’. It also has implications for how we think about events and capacity, and for how well a campaign can scale.
Joel Dignam reviews Marshall Ganz’ treatment of structure as a craft of organising. As Ganz notes “Developing leadership requires structuring the work of the organization so it affords as many people as possible the opportunity to learn to lead.”
Insights from The Organizational Roots of Political Activism: Field Experiments on Creating a Relational Context. In her paper, Han demonstrates that a relational context affects civic engagement, arguing that decisions like voting or other forms of activism aren’t based upon a simple cost-benefit analysis.
Joel Dignam reviews Paul and Mark Engler’s 2016 book This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century. TIAU is an analysis of social change, how it has occurred, and how contemporary campaigners may make it occur again.
This post reviews Marshall Ganz’ approach to craft of relationships in organising. Relationships foster the commitment that is needed for success and allow us to understand the interests, values and motivations of others.