What are the top three things about GSI's Sustainability Focus area that are the most critical, energizing, or momentum-building? Why?
2. How will we, as Board members, commit to contributing towards meaningful progress?
We have a better understanding of what the GSI team will be doing to make progress in these areas.
Now, let's consider what we will do as Board members to contribute towards their success in meaningful and measurable ways.
Review the Board Accountability and Board Action Items in the Progress Dashboard under your Focus Area.
Based on what you underwent so far, craft a Board Engagement game plan:
As GSI board members and community leaders, we want to help build a vital and vibrant community. We must work together and lead by mobilizing people to make progress on our most crucial, complex, adaptive challenges. To help mobilize people towards action, we need to connect and communicate with people about this critical work effectively.
Do you ever feel like it is hard to explain what GSI does?
Turn confusion into clarity and connection by creating relevant, two-way communications that add value for all involved. When we “tell” people what we do, they will often say, “Oh,” and the conversation will end. You don’t want to close the conversation. We want to create a dialogue.
Let’s shape pathways towards mutually interesting conversations and connections about the important work of GSI.
A. IDENTIFY WHO YOU WANT TO INFORM & INVOLVE
Review your work above, including your Board Engagement Gameplan (above), based on what you have developed so far, consider:
B. DON’T TELL. ASK THREE “DID YOU KNOW?” QUESTIONS.
Instead of launching into an explanation about all that GSI is doing, start with a "did you know ...?" question. By leading with provocative questions, you’ve replaced mind-numbing information overload with an intriguing opening that earns interest and respect. They’re motivated to give you their full attention because you’ve just proven that you will be a good use of their time and mind.
What startling research can you introduce in the first minute that would cause your listeners to think, “Really?! I didn’t know it was that big, that bad, that much, that fast?”
START WITH SOMETHING INTRIGUING
What recent data could you reference that offers fresh insight into the adaptive challenge we are working on, the needs we're meeting, or the gap GSI is filling? What respected resource can you reference that shows a sudden shift in a trend, a dramatic increase in scope, an unexpected and important change in regulations, or your target demographic?
Each person can take 2-3 mins to Google "trends" or "interesting facts" about your topic.
What compelling data comes up?
Create three "Did you know...?" Questions:
B. LINK THE WORD “IMAGINE” TO THREE BENEFITS GSI PROVIDES THAT MEET THAT NEED OR SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.
Why is the word “imagine” so powerful? It pulls people out of their preoccupation. They’re no longer distracted; they’re mentally engaged and picturing your point. We want to cultivate a competitive edge by condensing and crafting the value of what you’re proposing into an “Imagine this” sentence that causes decision-makers to think, “Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!”
How might we distill a lengthy explanation into an “Imagine this” ideal scenario that is one succinct sentence?
That’s your goal.
What do your decision-makers care about?
What are they concerned about?
How will GSI’s innovative work make a meaningful difference or change the current approaches?
C. BRIDGE WITH, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO IMAGINE IT, WE ARE DOING IT.”
Now you need to prove that what you’re proposing isn’t "pie in the sky" or speculative;
it’s a done deal, and you and the GSI team are doing it.
What evidence can you share about what GSI is doing? Refer back to Step One for ideas.