Project Wonderful

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ask Nancy: Coordination

Hi Nancy! First I'd like to say how much I appreciate your open source approach to your tumblr. Operatives across the USA rely on you for a place to vent their frustrations and be entertained. My question is about coordination. Do you have some best practices? I could really use some advice. THANKS!


I do! I would like to spend more time on this subject but in the interest of cleaning out my inbox and responding to all (or most) of the queries here is the quick and dirty of my rules for coordination.

1) Coordinate as early as possible (and makes sense). This will give your team the most time to figure out the growing pains that inevitably come with coordination and it's more efficient.

2) Respect and preach respect. Up and down the ticket there is no race that is "more important" than another. Because inevitably some campaigns bring more resources to the table than others, some will have more power but this is NOT an excuse to bulldoze other campaigns. I know some of you are feeling me on this problem right now. You and the other senior members of the field teams need to be able to present a united front. You need to communicate and enforce respect for each others candidates and programs. Your attitude is contagious for better or worse. If you don't treat your partner campaigns with respect, your underlings will pick up on it and your entire operation will suffer.

3) Create a clear chain of command. No one likes to feel like they are giving up control. However, it's even worse when you're told you'll be in charge of a region/office/function only to discover someone else has been promised the same thing. This leads to duplicate work and a lot of unnecessary toe stepping. There is more than enough to do during GOTV, so give everyone a role appropriate to their experience and expertise and enforce those roles, even when it's a little uncomfortable.

4) Do what you say you'll do. If your campaign is supposed to ID for up or down ticket races, it is up to you to ensure that this actually happens and that the data is shared in a timely manner. Do not accept "people don't get that far" as an excuse from your field offices. Your leadership teams need to work out a script where a second or third ID is possible and you need to communicate that shirking this responsibility is unacceptable. It makes a huge difference for trust (and therefore the success of coordination) especially at the ground level if these agreements are carried out early on.

5) Thank everyone. Believe it or not we are all on the same team. Take every opportunity to thank your partners and praise them in front of other staff and volunteers. This doesn't mean condescend each other, and it doesn't mean just lip service. Make a genuine effort to make your partners on every level feel appreciated and they will work harder for you and for your joint campaign.

Be excellent to each other!


No comments:

Post a Comment