Wow, there's been a ton of blog traffic recently surrounding the idea of forming local IT roundtable groups ... I love it!
For anyone interested ... here's the roundtable "guidelines" I used for the Spring '06 Roundtable. Feel free to steal and modify for your own group usage ... I did ;-)
Church IT Roundtable
Sept 20, 2006
Granger Community Church
Definition of a Roundtable
A roundtable is a peer-learning event where the participants are both teachers and learners. A roundtable is:
- Small enough to emphasize interactive learning
- Led by a facilitator and peer
- Includes participants who have an affinity with each other
- Does not include a strong agenda beyond sharing knowledge
Roundtable members are selectively invited with less than 25 per group. The participants set the agenda and interaction among participants takes precedent over presentation by “experts.” In fact, in one-way or another, most of the roundtable participants are already experts.
Purpose of this Roundtable
1. To meet other innovators
- Encouragement - "I am not alone." "Here I am understood."
- Confidence - "I'm not so crazy after all."
- Relationship - Develop on-going friendships
2. To advance the diffusion of innovation in a given topic area
- Sharing knowledge, lessons learned, and experiences
- Sorting out the big picture. How does it all fit? Where are we going?
- Synergy of new ideas, new perspectives, and new dreams
3. To facilitate collaboration
- Explore opportunities for teaming up to accomplish common goals
- "Network" - Learn who knows what and who is doing what
Rules and Expectations
· If we get to the end of this roundtable and we haven't talked about what you wanted to talk about then it's your fault.
- We are the agenda. We are the program. This is YOUR time.
- This is not a place to brag or boast - we're not here to impress. We're all doing great and unique things.
- This is a different style of learning. You may be used to one person giving all the answers. That is not true here.
- We have several hours of dialogue, not monologue. We've been given a gift - a day away to spend with like-minded peers, sharing ideas, resting in the comfort of being understood by peers.
- Don't get agenda anxiety. It's written in chalk, not in stone. What we've suggested as a starting range of topics is not inspired. It's not even clever. We'll change it as needed. Flexible is the key word here.
- What is said here is confidential. We hope to build an atmosphere of trust - a safe haven. Your honesty will lead to our honesty. Elders are not here. Deacons are not here.
- Some of you have had a great year, others may be about to quit ministry. Reach out and make an effort to connect.
Seven Spiritual Laws of the Roundtable:
- On personal issues, what is said here stays here.
- On professional ideas - Thou Shalt Steal. Public domain. Take them and run with them because Jesus wins!
- Disagreement is encouraged - Iron sharpens iron. However, what the church has not agreed upon in 2000 years we won't settle here, and the Microsoft vs. Linux and Mac vs. Windows debates will live on. Keep disagreement from becoming personal.
- Learn from others with a student’s heart. Be willing to listen to understand.
- Take responsibility for these hours together - seek and speak. Speak up in the group.
- Honor one another by being on time after breaks. Turn off cell phones if you can. Since you are the resource, you need to be fully present. Show up like you are the speaker. Caveat: you don't need to be in this meeting if you don't need to be in this meeting.
- If God is speaking to you then listen. Silence is okay - let things percolate.
Note: Many of the words and concepts in this document were developed by Leadership Network, and are used here with permission. See http://www.LeadNet.org.