SourceCred as a whole seems to be collectively evaluating a question: are we ready to intentionally expand our project in the form of new User Communities and SC Participants? The answer seems to be a resounding “no, that would harm us if we did it right now.”
The question that followed was: what would we need to do or change to be ready for an influx of attention?
This proposal topic evaluates this question and provides a potential answer for the Cultivation Trunk specifically. What -from the perspective of Cultivation- needs to be accomplished before we would feel comfortable green-lighting the intentional expansion of our internal community?
This is a proposal for the Cultivation Trunk’s strategy in the coming months and/or until we are ready for that expansion.
Note that there are more improvements which I think are needed for expansion overall than are listed in this proposal, this topic only focuses on the parts that Cultivation touches.
Some resources that may be useful while reading this topic:
- Release Rhythms Topic <— Describes the concept of Release Rhythms
- How to Start a New Project in SourceCred Topic <— Outlines the formula this topic uses to explore these ideas
- Original Proposal <— The topic from which this more refined proposal was derived
- Cultivation Meeting 10/21 Notes <— Notes for the meeting that immediately proceeded the creation of the older topic.
The Problem We’re Facing:
It feels apparent to the Cultivation Crew that our internal community would be damaged by a very fast and large influx of newcomers. We are not prepared to support a large number of newcomers in terms of onboarding them into our space, or in our community’s ability to deal with the stress fast growth could cause.
This means newcomers could be lost, confused, and potentially leave with a bad taste in their mouth due to lack of onboarding support. Our community, while kind and loving, is a very confusing place to try and start doing work right now. This could cause unaligned and/or uninformed contributions as well as emotional strife.
Another issue with quick expansion is that our community culture which we hold so dear could be lost in a flood of newcomers who don’t yet understand the way we do things. Communicating culture is difficult and requires a high-touch experience which we would not be able to provide in our current state. This could also leave us vulnerable to gaming and those with harmful intentions which we may not be able to see or correct before the situation gets difficult.
It’s not clear how long it will take to get to a state where this problem isn’t relevant anymore, but I do believe it’s completely achievable. We will employ and hone our Release Rhythms tactic as a means of keeping this relatively long-term work moving forward.
The End Goal:
The mission of Cultivation for the next long while will be to create an internal SC environment that is robust and well supported enough to allow for a large influx of new participants with minimal distress to the existing participants and newcomers alike.
This will include a few key elements:
- Existing community members are able to work together and collaborate with ease. Across the project, participants are able to easily communicate their ideas, create plans, use platforms, and get support when needed.
- Our community culture is unshakeable. All participants understand both implicitly and explicitly what our values are, how those translate into actions, and how to uphold and communicate our culture to others who are violating our community agreements.
- Onboarding is a robust and well-oiled system that makes a newcomer’s transition from capitalism into our community a smooth experience. Resources are available and accessible, expectations both social and contribution related are understood, and work is easy to get started with.
Simply said: we want to create a state of strong culture, effective collaboration, and clarity of purpose for contributors new and established before any rapid expansion.
How We’ll Know We’ve Accomplished Our Goal:
Once our project as a whole feels like a place where working together is smooth and effective and there is a strong and unshakeable sensation of culture, we’ll know we’re close if not ready to bring in a lot more people (from the perspective of Cultivation).
That includes some key components:
- Our community culture is thriving, strong, and well understood by current participants.
- Operations are tight, and participants can easily collaborate. Work procedures are clear, easy to partake in, and improve our effectiveness.
- The newcomers who naturally gravitate to our project are well held and have a relatively easy and clear transition into our community.
When the Cultivation Crew stops pulling faces in meetings about growth and can enthusiastically endorse rapid expansion based on the good health of our community, we will have accomplished our goals.
Once our roots are strong, we’ll be ready to grow quickly towards the sun.
Our Strategy for Getting There:
Cultivation’s strategy to prepare and strengthen our community for growth has a few major components to be executed in this order:
- Create more bandwidth for the Cultivation Trunk specifically.
- Evaluate and deeply improve our community’s operations for collaboration across the project.
- Explore and define the essence of our values and culture as a community, making them explicitly/implicitly understood and easily communicated.
- Create robust onboarding mechanisms, resources, and support that effectively and humanely bring newcomers into an understanding of both our work procedures and our culture. Ideally with resources for making the transition from capitalism to SourceCred.
The Tactics that Make Up Our Strategy:
We will utilize Release Rhythms to orient and make progress on each of the 4 Strategy Phases listed above. Each Strategy Phase will be given one or more Rhythms in which the entirety of the Cultivation Trunk will focus on the specific goal as it relates to their expertise.
The tactics listed below are a rough estimate meant to give perspective on how things may progress. This will potentially change as we actually work through the strategy.
- Cultivation Bandwidth
- Get together internally and spend a Release Rhythm finding ways to prepare for and improve the onboarding experience for the Cultivation Trunk. Specifically in order to bring more Cultivation participants in and increase the bandwidth of our Trunk for the coming work.
- Spend a Release Rhythm recruiting and onboarding a few emotionally intelligent and capable people into our Trunk. Ramping them up and getting them ready to start working on the next phases of our overall strategy.
- Operations Improvement
- Spend a Release Rhythm getting feedback from our community and surveying the ways our community operates; to deeply understand the way we’re working together and to draw conclusions about the successful aspects and the areas that require improvement.
- With our new understanding of the holes in our Operations, spend multiple RRs on gathering/creating and testing out platforms, resources, and systems that could improve our collaboration across the project.
- Defining Culture and Values
- Spend a RR gathering information from different portions of the project and potentially hosting group discussions about the values/culture of our internal community specifically.
- Spend at least one RR refining and documenting our values/culture. (value statements, CoC, etc)
- Onboarding Improvement
- Spend a RR evaluating the needs of newcomers from across disciplines, creating user profiles, and evaluating the strengths/weaknesses of our current onboarding resources.
- Spend (likely multiple) RRs focused on refining existing methods, creating new resources/systems, and improving basic onboarding flows across the project.
Requests for Feedback on this Topic:
- From Cultivation Leads: do you think that onboarding more folks into our Trunk will alleviate our bandwidth issues? (Assume that they are competent and well onboarded, and that you have support from me in supporting/leading them). If not, what do you think would make the biggest impact on accomplishing your Cultivation work without feeling burnt out?
- Is this proposal topic clear, or do these ideas need better communication for you to understand?
- In your opinion, is this proposal feasible? If not, what would you change to make it more realistic?
- Do you see any glaring issues, or large holes in this proposal? If so, what are they and how would you tackle it?
- Do you like this proposal in general? Why or why not?