Hello all - You may have noticed that Julie mentioned a brainstorming
session at our meeting tomorrow afternoon. I'm going to facilitate it, and
I thought you might like a little advance notice of what it's all about.
At the last UCAC meeting, Steve Calvert suggested that we write a concise
mission statement and back it up with our vision, values and goals. Once
all of this is on paper, we should meet with the provost and share what we
want to do. This strategy stems from the fact that long-term funding
decisions for UCAC are most likely to come from Provost Simmons.
The purpose of the brainstorming session is to make sure everyone's ideas
are heard, that all concerns are aired (notice I didn't say solved), and
that we get as much creative input as possible in the process. Here's how
1) You'll be asked to write down your ideas of how the Council should
function, what its role should be, and any concerns you have. One way to
approach it is to ask yourself, what will it look like if we're doing it
right? You can start writing things down now, or wait till tomorrow.
There will be some time at the beginning.
2) In succession, each person will state one idea, concern, etc. I will
write each one on a flip chart.
3) As we progress around the room, each person can add a new idea, build
on a previous one, or pass.
4) We will continue for about twenty minutes or until every member has
What we will *not* do is debate the merits of each individual comment.
This is because an idea that initially seems outrageous, impractical, or
just silly may spark another idea that turns out to be wonderful.
Here are the rules:
1) All comments about ideas, pro or con, are ruled out.
2) Freewheeling is welcomed.
3) Quantity is desired.
4) Combination and improvement are sought.
After the session is over, we'll ask a smaller group of people to review
the ideas and categorize them. Are they visions? Are they values? Are
they an overriding theme that belongs in the mission statement? The list
will thus be boiled down to a more manageable size. *Then* we get to
debate the merits (probably at the November 10 meeting.) At the October 13
meeting we discussed meeting with the Provost before Thanskgiving so we
need to work fast.
I have used this exercise before and the results have been fantastic. I
hope you'll be there!
Marilyn R. McKinney
Assistant Director of Donor Relations
P.O. Box 1893
Providence, RI 02912
Phone: (401) 863-1644
Fax: (401) 863-7591
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