First try at explaining the “GLOW” thing I keep banging on about. In the making of it have stumbled upon the “Transtheoretical model” of Prochaska and DiClemente. But I digress. This video “names” the four elements, (not stages), but doesn’t really explain or explore the links and tensions between each (for example, “winning” can be dangerous because you just complacently keep on doing the same thing again, until you stop winning. i.e. winning can – if you’re not careful – stop you from learning, growing, and organising. Not that any examples camp to mind, I mean, come to mind.
Here’s the script I stumble over-
If we don’t grow we don’t win. The current numbers of people pressuring the politicians, business leaders and community leaders to DO something instead of talking is far too low, and the kinds of people doing the pressuring is far too narrow.
So, how to attract people to ‘the Movement”, and crucially, how to KEEP them involved. There is currently a massive ‘churning’ of people – meaning that as new ones come in most of those who’ve been involved for a couple of months are leaving, so numbers stay static. It’s difficult of course, because people like novelty and adrenaline, with the long hard slog of teaching elephants to tapdance not quite so alluring….
But I digress. We can grow if we learn (from our mistakes and successes), we organise (around where we live, where we work, what we want to campaign on) and if we WIN short-term victories. If we just put on another pointless demonstration every six to twelve months to prove that we still exist, then only the paper-sellers and the true believers will come more than once or twice before dropping out.
We have to learn, both as individuals and as organisations.
Currently, new “members” of organisations don’t seem to be asked what skills and knowledge they’d like to get hold of, or even what skills they have to offer.
And there’s no skills audit done, and no sense of an organisation trying to broaden out its abilities to do more than the same old things, over and over again (whether they work or not)
We could use Vygotsky’s notion of the Zone of Proximal Development, or Kolb’s learning cycles. Or look at adult education (andragogy). But we don’t.
We need to organise. That’s what the circle around the anarchy sign is. The A is for anarchy, the O is for organisation. The two are not two sides of the same coin, they’re the same side of the same coin.
Organisation doesn’t have to mean hierarchy. If skills are properly shared, and people given the space to make mistakes and learn from them, as individuals and collectively, then instead of it having to be the same one or two people bringing ideas forward and to fruition, and the energy leaving when they do, then we might actually get somewhere.
And we need to win. We need short-term victories, to keep up morale and keep numbers growing (remember that?). When you win a victory, people watching think “yeah, that ship ain’t sinking, I’m gonna get involved, I’m gonna help make a difference”. But to win? That would mean organisations, especially the ones that “demand the impossible” start figuring out how to frame non-reformist reforms, and to take what they are doing seriously. Is this possible? Yes. Is it likely? Sadly, no.