Working in a coalition can be necessary for environmentalists to get something big done, but working in a coalition can be tough in practice. Sometimes working in a coalition can feel like cooking in a kitchen with too many chefs.
Here are some places to turn if you're having difficulties working in a coalition:
This Institute for Conservation Leadership toolkit is for leaders and activists who want to better accomplish environmental and social change goals by combining forces with multiple organizations. It shares useful ideas, models, and practices gleaned from over 15 years of ICL consulting with, coaching, and training thousands of leaders and organizations; nearly all were cooperating in some way with other groups. We hope this Toolkit helps your coalition or cooperative effort start off on the right foot so you can avoid reinventing the wheel, evade common pitfalls, and travel well.
The Toolkit will help you:
Gain tools and insight into leadership in cooperative settings, as well as learn how to assist group development - the first task of leadership.
Clarify your organization’s reasons for joining a cooperative effort, assess risks and benefits, and find productive and focused common ground
Learn to use three essential elements for inclusive, purposeful and active cooperation, and choose exercises for launching your group.
Select the most efficient and effective organizational model and structure to fit the purpose of your cooperative effort.
Anticipate predictable persistent tensions as the cooperative effort evolves, and use leadership and organizational practices that support success.
Cost: $35.00 on the Institute for Conservation Leadership website.
Environmental Leadership Institute (semi-annual, week-long conference)
The ELI is a rigorous program for strengthening individual campaign skills. An intensive five-day program, the ELI engages participants through a combination of workshops and a challenging simulation exercise. Each evening, participants apply the lessons of the day's workshops during their group simulation work allowing them to internalize the information for greater retention. Participants work in teams throughout the week, producing comprehensive campaign plans based on fictional political scenarios. Participants acquire hands-on experience with the following professional skills: Strategic planning, message creation, meeting facilitation, fundraising, budgeting, negotiating, earned media, audience targeting, the use of polling data, message discipline, decision-making, and group dynamics.
The specific qualities of leadership that are developed and improved are:
Thinking and executing plans strategically
Ability to identify, recruit, and mobilize people and resources to win
Developing a compelling message and communicating persuasively
Understanding the relationship between products and process
Identifying your individual strengths and weaknesses as a leader