You find yourself interested in or concerned about something, but you only have a vague idea about how it works or how you fit in.
Difficulty: bringing about meaningful change is often hard work. Inertia: when things are hard we may feel stuck, wring our hands, or preach to the choir.
It's easy to think about issues that matter: there are many of them. The problem is figuring out what you're going to do about it. As a further problem, getting concrete can be scary, because you risk failure.1
If you are able to get concrete about something to do, learn, and achieve, you move from thinking about a topic to becoming a practitioner. You may realize that your "specific project" is too large to tackle directly. In this case, you will have to become even more specific. Maintaining a project Roadmap can help keep track of the smaller pieces and the bigger picture.
Being specific is important for bringing about change.2 But while actions speak louder than words, it's important to act in a coherent way if you want to be understood by others. However, in general it would be a mistake to try to seek consensus before acting: it's much better to combine action with dialog.
Each project connected with the Peeragogy Project should be described with one or more patterns, each with specific, tangible "what's next" steps.3 The Pattern Audit Routine can help make these "what's next" steps concrete.
Furthermore, each project, insofar as it uses patterns in the style we’ve discussed, should have an emergent roadmap comprised of ‘next steps’. Here’s ours:
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In the Peeragogy project and more broadly, we've observed that↩
some people are happy with a sense of experience or process, while others want to see results. Some others are in the middle. All of these variations are OK! However, we are often blinded by our own preferences, and in the worst case this can undermine or destroy group dynamics. At the very least it will add tension, as some want to continue to discuss and engage generally while others want to move forward. When the forward-movers try to act, those enjoying the experience may attempt to shut them down or may feel that they are being left out/behind.2
In the January, 2013, plenary session,↩
Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) President Tordis Isselhardt quietly listened to a presentation about how we created the Peeragogy Handbook. During the Q&A, she spoke up, wondering if peer-learning effort in IPNE might be more likely to succeed if the organization's members "focused around a specific project." As this lightbulb illuminated the room, those of us attending the plenary session suggested that IPNE could focus the project by creating an "Independent Publishing Handbook." (Applause!) In the course of creating the IPNE Handbook, peer learners would assemble resource repositories, exchange expertise, and collaboratively edit documents. To provide motivation and incentive to participate in "PeerPubU", members of the association will earn authorship credit for contributing articles, editor credit for working on the manuscript, and can spin off their own chapters as stand-alone, profit-making publications.3
We've found that writing papers for conferences is one activity↩
that can help us focus and make improvements to our body of work that would not come about by simply meandering through revisions to the Peeragogy Handbook. Remixing these efforts into the handbook is a good source of improvements; see Use or Make.