Running a Group
The most important thing in running a group is helping people, conversations, relationships, and ideas flourish.
Start by hosting healthy spaces, meetings, and events. Focus most on encouraging engagement and relationships, and keep group administration simple and solid. With these strong foundations, perhaps your group can build partnerships and projects to have impact in your industry and community.
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Host and hold the space
Group leaders hold space for others.
If your group is event-based, that cadence of events is the main container you’re creating. Those events can be formal or informal.
If your group is online or has an online component, make sure you and other community managers are there: engaging, and encouraging others to engage.
Invite and welcome people. A new member’s first experience is very important.
Keep group leader relationships strong. Your positive energy will infuse the group.
Catalyze engagement, nurture people & ideas, make connections
The conversations and relationships are the magic that provides the value to group members and leaders alike. Sometimes this needs a lot of energy and structure, and sometimes you just need to get out of the way and let things happen.
Use healthy community management tactics to spark engagement.
Moderating conversations is an important job. Enforce the group’s ground rules.
Manage group logistics
Group administration can be the less-fun part of running a group. Seek to simplify and minimize these logistics, but not ignore them. See Tips for Running Groups.
Marketing is hard, but if you have the right people engaged, word of mouth goes a long way.
Do projects as a group
Mature and engaged groups, groups with very strong leaders, or groups that have an explicit mission to have an impact may try doing group projects like developing software, contributing to industry initiatives, hosting larger events & trainings, or pro-bono work.
Partnerships can open the door to meaningful group activity and projects.
Sometimes, somehow, groups can take on a life of their own. It does take work, and it doesn't happen all the time, but groups that work can do amazing things.
If leaders take care in establishing a compelling vision, enrolling and empowering others, and building healthy relationships - groups operate and grow organically. The fuel is the intrinsic motivation and genuine fulfillment of the people involved.
That doesn’t mean they live forever: organic things evolve and die. That doesn't mean they're big and powerful: organic things come in all shapes and sizes. But these special groups may also spawn other groups and other projects.
Tip from Varun Heta of Autodesk at AU2020.
Connect with a peer mentor on running groups - access codes listed here for Autodesk Group Network members. Become a peer mentor