FIRST: Start with a Simple Spark

Nourish the spark that got you into this work in the first place. Follow where it takes you.

Most great groups start small, with healthy energy between friends and colleagues. Then groups form, grow, and stay healthy over time by nurturing and following that energy.



Get together with friends, around the spark of an idea or intention

The core of any great group comes from the people who are hosting, the ideas and values shared by those people, and the intention to take those ideas and values into the world - into action.

Start small and see if you find good energy that feeds both you and others. What ideas and values develop? This healthy seed is critical, even if groups end up growing larger.

Nurture the spark, follow the energy

Good groups learn, develop, and grow from experience. Listening and following can be more important than pushing through an entangled agenda. What do people need? What do you need? What wants to happen? Follow that.

All of the content in these best practice guides might seem overwhelming. Don't let it be.

Just relate, share, and talk with people to learn and connect… whether you call it a group or not.

Find fulfillment starting small. A lot of communities, groups and dreams die-on-the-vine because the hopes and expectations of the person launching it were too high. You may not actually have the time to make something really big at the start. Other people may not be ready for it. Don't get discouraged if your first engagements are not smashing successes - learn and adapt.

"How a Community of Practice moves is much like a snake. A successful Community knows where it wants to go and defines a straight path to its destination, but if you were to look back over the path of the community it would be much like the path of a snake as it sets off in search of dinner. The snake knows where it is heading and even when it has a firm direction the path it traveled meanders back and forth to its destination." - Rebecca Arsham & Frank Ryan at AU 2014

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

― Margaret Mead

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