WWIF #8: The Weekly Do

When I worked as Greek Affairs Coordinator at Iowa State University, one of the men's fraternities had a large chalkboard stationed just inside the entrance to the house.

On it every Sunday, the chapter's House Manager posted a short list of "things that need to be done in/on the house this week."

Individual members already had regular house duties, so this was an above and beyond list.  Members voluntarily could indicate they would complete an assignment and then post when it was done.

In a few cases, big tasks earned you some credits off your house bill or some other reward.  In general though, taking on the extra work just got you some hearty praise during chapter meeting and the public recognition of seeing your name on the board all week.

And it worked.  Very well.  Almost every week.

Why?  Because the members cared about the house.  Because it was all about individual initiative.  Because the tasks could generally be done in an hour or less.  Because members would informally thank brothers who took on extra assignments.  Because if you played ping-pong for too long or were seen watching TV all day, the House Manager might gently rib you about how you could more productively spend your time helping the chapter and the house.

I think associations should do something similar.

What if each week associations posted a list of simple tasks members could volunteer to complete, helping advance association efforts?

Using a simple online tool like a wiki or a Ta-Da list, the opportunities can be easily shared, claimed, and their completion tracked.

Imagine the energy and commitment that could be leveraged if we made it easy for people to volunteer in completing small assignments that help advance significant achievements.

Note:  Wednesday What If is a weekly feature applying the "what if" mindset associated with abductive reasoning or logic in an effort to stretch our thinking about what is desirable and very frequently, quite doable.

1 comment:

Garry Polmateer said...

Excellent article. This describes almost to a "T", Agile or SCRUM project management. The project sponsor creates a "Backlog" of work that needs to be done. The backlog is broken down into a series of manageable tasks. The team then executes and "checks out" each task and they move from "Backlog" to "In Progress" to "Finished". There's some other rigmarole around it but the concept is the same. Nice!