Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nine Principles for Organizing Insurrection


Or a protest. Or an advocacy group. Or a new business.

You say you are thinking about staging a rebellion, but you don't know how to start? Here are a few tips from a guy with an FBI file in Los Angeles, a guy studied in the ways and means of communication, a professional organizer, agitator and planner.

From the desk of Joseph August America, "Super-Insurrectionist!"

  1. The Principle of Three Organizers

You start by getting two other like thinking people, the smartest you can find, to develop your basic approach. Why three? Because if there were only two, you'd have no tie-breaker on your snap votes. If there were more than three, you'd argue too much and be less decisive.

You rough out your approach. Your issues and what you want to achieve, who might make up your Executive Committee, and sketch out your bylaws that address who participates and how. Do some open-minded brainstorming and settle on your approach. The rest you leave to the Executive Committee.

  1. The Principle of the Seven Essential Disciplines

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Your Executive Committee will have seven members, not six, not eight. Seven. It means you have to recruit four more substantive people. An attorney if possible. A publicist if possible. A financial guy, if possible. The best damn organizer you can find; someone who likes doing the task work to host a big party.

Why seven? Because it is a lucky number mainly. Praise the Lord and our faith in the unfathomable.  And because you need the Heads of seven essential disciplines on your guidance and decision making team.

Your Executive Committee will oversee the following essential functions:

  1. Strategy and tactics: applied thinking
  2. Finance: dollars and sense
  3. Membership: grow, baby, grow
  4. Legal: organize and operate according to law; use the law to challenge the status quo
  5. Operations: organizing events, getting materials out, doing things
  6. Publicity: recruitment, airing the tactical agenda
  7. Technology: web presence and communications

Consider these disciplines when picking your Executive Committee members. Also, be prepared to eject anyone who does not work out smoothly with others from the getgo. Your by-laws must provide for that.

Any one of the seven can be elected to Chair the Executive Committee.

  1. The Principle of the Five Steps to an Open Mind

You can get the most done if you resist the Filipino penchant for criticizing every little detail, a technique used to preserve face whilst getting absolutely nothing done. When you run up against a difficult problem or critical decision, the objective is to open minds, not close them. You can do this with formal brainstorming, which goes like this:

  1. Tape some big poster-sized sheets of blank paper on the walls and grab a magic marker.
  2. Cite the challenge and ask people to state what needs to be done. ANY idea is a good idea and no criticisms are allowed. Write ALL the ideas on the big paper, good, bad and irrelevant.
  3. Only when all the ideas are exhausted do you open the floor to evaluations. Argue about those initiatives to be raised to the top, those to be thrown out and those to be researched. Write the priorities on some more big pages.
  4. Get it down to the top five to seven priorities.
  5. Go have a beer and pizza.

  1. The Principle of the Clear Mission

The mission is a short statement that says it all: who, what, where, why and how. It is the fundamental reason for being, the soul of the organization. It lets others understand your purpose in a few words. It keeps you and your team focused.

  1. The Principle of Achievement

If you expect to get anything accomplished, you MUST have the courage to benchmark performance. State your goals explicitly. Measure results. Set time deadlines. Do the kinds of things that FORCE your organization to act, to work hard, to get things done. DO NOT accept excuses and complacency. Plan, act, check progress and correct deficient progress; then act better. If you want enrollment to be 15,000 in three months, set that as the goal and make sure it gets done. Don't say "we want enrollment to grow". That is a PUKE statement . . .

If you want to pay staff and fund publicity (paid ads), you need money. Set your targets for fundraising and go get the money. Don't make the organization dependent on what you raise. Make the fundraising meet your needs. That is called achievement.

  1. The Principle of the Pyramid of Membership

Seven people can recruit and manage seven people. Here's the rest of the math.

  • Seven times seven is 49
  • 49 times seven is 343
  • 343 times seven is 2401
  • 2,401 times seven is 16,807

You need a pyramid organization four layers deep to get 15,000 members. Organize your titles, organization, recruitment correspondence, and geography to get that done. Incidentally, 16, 807 times P1,000 is P16,807,000. At P100 the math ends up at P1,680,700.

  1. The Principle of the Power of the Internet

You can do today what you could not do 15 years ago. You can operate at the speed of electricity.

You need a web site and communication protocols to shoot out e-mails, tweets and phone-texts. You need an open mind to suggestions that come in. Your tech person must build your framework, simple but slick. Don't goof it up with too much detail trying to prove you are capable because you are complex. Cluttered is not the same as capable, and it is certainly not clear.

  1. The Principle of Primary Effort

Successful organizations keep their eye on the ball. Unsuccessful organizations get distracted by sideline interests or enjoyments that do little to help the primary mission. Make people do the hard work that must get done, not slip into doing the comfortable work that is easy and fun.

  1. The Principle of Good Coffee

Get a good coffee pot and a dozen bags of Siete Baracos Philippine espresso blend coffee to help you get through the organization stage. You'll have lots to think about and will need your senses amped up. It's regular coffee, but strong. Budget: P6,000.

10 comments:

  1. ahihihi..very interesting, having a second thought now, should I? or just keep running away with wolves. I'm downing with my 100 cups of me'lange maison starbucks contemplating & daydreaming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One should always think more than once.

      Wolves are social animals, ordering themselves from top to bottom dog and hunting in coordinated fashion; they can find their way home by self-contained GPS. They get hurt and keep going. There is a lot of good in wolves.

      Drinking Starbucks, contemplating & daydreaming are excellent occupations.

      Delete
    2. Ahhh that smell of home brewed Batangas barako coffee will make you conemplate and daydream.

      I could feel what those government execs and top level managers are thinking. One thinks, I could do better.

      Its Jack

      Delete
    3. Ha! And one would likely be right.

      Delete
    4. Just bear in mind, man does not live by coffee alone (and contemplating and daydreaming, for that matter). Have some pandesal with that, that's all I'm saying ;)

      Cha

      Delete
    5. Cha, that's brilliant. Caused me to spew my coffee laughing.

      Delete
  2. Hey Joe! what happened to the fire in the belly? I guess nobody have the heart for insurrection, maybe they love the night life..lol or they rather start a new business...like monkey business..lol now it is true what American think of Filipino, romantic, illustrados, & loving...not pirates & savage what they thought before...I could start a business on tv..reality show "the Philippine Spring" lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This blog has identified two new Philippine literary artists, Cha and chohalili. "The Philippine Spring", an insurrection that happened while we were not looking.

      Delete
  3. It must have happen when everyone was in the Kapihan!

    ReplyDelete
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