Skip to content

Working Agreements

Seedlings on Windowsill

During the seed phase, the organizing group is relatively small.  As such, working agreements might not be as critical.   During the start-up phase, the group expands.  A set of working agreements is needed.

These are some of the working agreements that organizing groups have developed:

  • Balance getting this done properly with a desire to get it done quickly; set a target end date that can be renegotiated, consider holidays.
  • Engage more people in the conversation—really do it, by going to them, by finding ways for their input to be captured.
  • Make the most of meetings with delineated tasks for each meeting, with action steps and homework to follow; everyone needs to come prepared to each meeting having done homework in advance.
  • Monthly (max) meeting early morning, not on Monday, rotate locations.  Consider possibility of conference calls if it improves engagement.  Look to making decisions via email.
  • Make meetings open to the public and post all minutes / agendas on a blog-type website.
  • Assign clear responsibility for finalizing each work product.
  • Respond to email inquiries even if agreeing so person asking a question knows consent is given.  Reply only to sender if you are simply consenting.
  • Use technology to share information.
  • Send out meeting agendas one week in advance; send out minutes within one week of the meeting.
  • Review decisions made and action items from the previous meeting at each meeting.
  • Develop a schedule and review it at the beginning of each meeting, making adjustments as needed.
  • Recap decisions and action items identified during each meeting at the end of the meeting so that everyone knows what is expected and who is doing what.