Collaborative Group Interventions
Group Decision-making: to Merge or
A community chorus, in existence for six years, is increasingly
successful in its niche market. A larger organization is offering
to take the chorus over, and chorus members are unsure whether
to merge or try to make it on their own.
Resources for Change suggests to the executive committee that
it gather chorus members, key members of the larger association,
and community allies (the groups important to the future success
of the chorus and who have a stake in that success). The committee
is delighted to have a "trial balloon" process that
will give members a clearer picture of their current status
in the community and help them assess the potential for growth.
The committee members come up with a long list of invitees
to a 2-1/2 day event, planned by committee members. The invitees
include media entertainment critics, music directors, area
assembly representatives, arts groups, national choral associations,
business representatives, and others.
To the surprise of the planners, they gain the participation
of nearly 100% of their identified external stakeholders.
The turnout is exciting and offers time for both work and
constructive engagement. Collaborations are forged, and many
interests are served as members of the larger community gather
to think through the impact of the arts group. Issues surface
that are of surprising significance to the stakeholders. The
information allows the chorus to make a decision on merging
The "ripples" of such events are testament to the
richness of conversation that occurs when the right people
are invited to collaborate in planning and strategy sessions.