Monday, November 7, 2011

Are you a Dreamer?

Have you ever been asked to work on a project with people whom you have never met? Or…..perhaps you have met them, but have never worked with them?

Such is the case with a committee driven event made up of volunteers (freely contributing time, effort and resources). At times, these committees are made up of “Doers”…..those individuals who always get the job done. But! Sometimes, the groups are made up of only “Dreamers” who, unfortunately, may not have the skill set to execute the task at hand. The perfect committee is made up of both “Doers” and “Dreamers”. Let me explain.

Dreamers are those individuals who always think yes before no. They do not see limits, only opportunities. Doers sometimes get frustrated with Dreamers because they are turning left when the Doer is turning right. They think differently and it challenges the mindset of the Doer. In essence…..they can make the project exciting!

Can someone be a Doer and a Dreamer? Yes, most definitely – but they are few and far between. If you have one on your team I suggest you treat them like a rare find. They are a little like a double rainbow or a Unicorn.

In the real world, a great collaboration needs the following:

1. You need a mix of both “Doers” and “Dreamers”

2. You need a “Dream Wrangler”: someone who can draw out the ideas from the Dreamers, keep them on track.

3. You need a leader: As much as you might be a committee, everyone needs a leader. You need a point of contact, someone to make decisions, give final approval. Committee’s can become very passive aggressive and leadership is integral to a successful outcome.

4. You need to create an environment of trust.

5. There needs to be an articulated goal that all parties understand.

Finally, it is important to know what your “Doers” and “Dreamers” need so that you can feed them. What I am saying is, that everyone participates in collaborative projects for different reasons and if you can identify what those reasons are from the beginning, you will better able to position them in the project so that they get what they need out of it.

Recently, the planets aligned for me in such a way that I was able to become a part of a unique collaborative process. I was asked by Dream Wrangler Tahira Endean to participate in the EventCamp Vancouver planning experience. Tahira is a "double rainbow" - she is both a Doer and a Dreamer and artfully worked her magic throughout the planning process. She assembled a unique group of both Dreamers and Doers from near and far. It was truly an amazing experience that is sending ripples exponentially throughout the network of those who attended.

So…..the next time you are working on a collaborative event, think about this process. Appreciate your Dreamers, because without them you wouldn’t push boundaries, stretch your imagination. Acknowledge your Doers because without them – it would just be a page filled with ideas.



Jenise Fryatt said...

Awesome post, Judy! Tahira is certainly a double rainbow. I'm a big fan.

I like the way that you find value in both doers and dreamers. In improv we love to encourage people to say "Yes, and..." however there is a place and time for "Yes, but..."

I heard it put this way once -- People who say "Yes, and.." invent airplanes. People who say "Yes, but..." invent parachutes. Obviously we need both. :)

Tahira Endean said...

Judy, what a great way to articulate our collaboration session in a way that tells a story (which I love!).

Jenise, what a lovely thing to hear, thank you. It is mutual.

I feel so fortunate because this was truly an event that was heaped with doers and each one brought to us so much more than asked and together an incredible experience was shared from the beginning of the planning and I believe continuing even now. It was a deep honor and a true pleasure to have worked alongside everyone to see what together we could accomplish. I always approach a project hoping to inspire everyone to want to be there and share their expertise so together we are all better than we could be alone and to know that this was achieved is very special to me. Thank you for sharing this, it means the world. Tahira

The Green-Eyed Event Planner said...

Jenise - I love the airplanes/parachute is exactly what I was trying to say and you managed to capture it in two sentences. Thank you!

Tahira (aka Dream Wrangler/Double Rainbow/Unicorn) - The conversations which began in Vancouver will definitely continue. I got a tremendous amount of personal fulfillment out of working on the game application component with Shawna; it truly challenged me.

Thank you!