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III (a). Crafting the Invitation: What Do We Want Participants to Do?

The Invitation literally asks people to do things. The list of doings might include many of the following:

The Invitation ultimately embodies and requires the resolution of all of the purpose, people, logistical, and sustainability questions on the previous page.

Once it's finished, the hardest (often "invisible") work is done and the "real work" of distributing the invitation, registering participants, procuring of materials, and perhaps developing ongoing support can begin. Notice that the latter of these tasks could be specified as all or part of what participants are invited to do and create.

III (b). Crafting the Invitation: Some Open, Inviting Language (Samples)

Please join us for... Our purpose is simple and important...

We need (and want) your deep engagement in the issues and opportunities surrounding the present and future of... toward the resolution of current issues and realization of untapped potential for...

We have done well and we must do better... to serve ourselves, our organization(s), and our communities...

The work of this session will contribute/lead toward...

Because you care about... you have the skills, experiences and insights that are essential to make it better.

Differences of opinion do exist, but it is out of this rich diversity that powerful new futures can be formed now.

...hope that each of you will put it all on the table... no sacred cows... no undiscussables... the only caveats and boundaries are...

...hope to mix past experience, present realities and all our hopes and dreams for the future into new...

Where there is agreement, we can move forward. Where there is difference we can seek understanding, common ground, and workable compromise.

None of this can happen without open, honest conversation and caring from each and every one of us.

...promises to you... 1) Before we leave every issue of concern to anybody will be on the table, if they choose to put it there. 2) All issues will receive as full a discussion as you choose to give them. 3) You will receive a written record of the discussions and recommendations before you leave. 4) All issues will be ranked in the priority order determined by this group. 5) And finally, that we will identify working groups and immediate next steps for all of the large group's most important issues and any other issue that you want to pursue. That’s a promise. ...if you walk out of here muttering to yourself that we never talked about the really important issues that you cared about, please notice that the person responsible for that is you.

It's time to get to work... what are the issues and opportunities for... that you care about? ...what are your ideas, questions, recommendations, concerns, needs and desires for resolution and future directions... right down to the the level of implementation?

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Last edited April 22, 2006 12:56 pm CentralTimeUSA by Mherman
© 1998-2019 Michael Herman and www.michaelherman.com, unless signed by another author or organization. Please do not reprint or distribute for commercial purposes without permission and full attribution, including web address and this copyright notice. Permission has always been granted gladly to those who contact me and say something about themselves, their work, and their use of these materials. Thank you and good luck! - Michael