There we were, full of enthusiasm and ready to make substantial progress. Everyone was excited to get started on this week’s tasks and what we had planned for our NGO. We were sitting in our Delorian racing full speed towards our final video. But instead of going through the wall into another time, we crashed right into it.
Our NGO asked us to come up with a social media campaign to increase awareness and gather young people with the same love for water to help the IWF. So we started researching on social media, planning campaigns etc. The we, as one NGO group quickly realised that we need to dig deeper. Way deeper. We had to start asking why. Not just once but several times. Once we had done that we quickly figured out that the social media campaign was just a piece in the bigger puzzle. A step to get towards what we actually wanted to achieve.
In order to help Francois we needed to first understand the NGO and its orientation and structure/activities. Nancy’s spidergram video proved itself to be of fantastic help. It answered questions but also raised a lot of new ones. We quickly understood that it was necessary to create 2 different spidergrams as the youth’s orientation differed quite a lot from the NGO’s current approach. (Spidergrams will be on our blog shortly after the visit of our NGO – watch this space)
If that is not an amazing lesson to be learned this week, then what is? You need to crash and burn to learn. It’s as easy as that. Redefining our itch and starting point opened a lot of doors for new ideas. We had to take a big step back and control our speed to realise that we had been looking at the wrong challenge. We were trying to find technology first and then figure out how we can use it. The way better approach is – understand first, then see how technology can help you achieve what you want to do.
One man to rule them all
The first thing we had to realise when working with the IWF is that it currently is pretty much a one man show. Francois is taking care of all interaction with other NGOs as well as website and contacts. This makes it extremely difficult for him to also be a tech steward in his growing (planned) organisation. We have to find ways to realise a social media campaign at the scale our small NGO can manage.
We are currently aiming to use Facebook as our main tool to connect young people in local youth groups and share their enthusiasm about water. At this stage we are still working on ideas on how young people can support the IWF and from there on will further evaluate our social media choice.
Several things play an important role when choosing the right technology. We need to take into account that the social media landscape is constantly changing. There has been a decline in young users on Facebook already and while we still aim to start off using this platform, our strategy needs to cover different outlooks for the future to take into account this fast changing environment. Have a look at this brief article linked below, a great insight on what is happening (even if you don’t notice it yourself)
Teamwork, teamwork, it’s all about team work
This week we also approached a different team work structure. As we have agreed to work on a common outcome as one NGO group, we found working in role teams to be very efficient. It allows for a better connection between all 3 working teams and all results are shared with the smaller groups. Again group size of 3 people made it easy to discuss and get ideas going in order to then share them with the group.
Want some tech?
The core of all our work is Google. Google offers a complete solution from task lists, emails and chat to online collaboration on different documents, surveys and much more. The key to our productivity is making it all work seamlessly together. It takes some practise to get the hang of how all these tools work and are integrated with each other. If any team wants to boost their productivity or structure their work beyond the basic google tools – come talk to us. Also, please comment with what you think of the google suite! Do you use some of their solutions?
This week has been full of learning for us. Understanding technology stewardship has helped us get the bigger picture and adjust our working style. The practices introduced aided us a lot in structuring our work and coming our existing technological knowledge with a better way to help our NGO. Francois will be visiting us on Wednesday and we have already prepared a full day of interacting and gaining more insight to further understand our NGOs opportunities and from there recommend them the appropriate technology.