Preventing Group Elephantiasis - Part 2

I mentioned yesterday that Group Elephantiasis - where groups keep getting bigger and bigger - is terminally dangerous. We try to help all of our groups, especially the new ones, set their sights on reproduction rather than elephantiasis. But it isn't always easy. Here are some of the things that have helped us be successful:

- Focus on a leadership development culture. If you've got the right leaders to lead a multiplication, it's a lot easier for the group to buy-in.

- Establish the expectation as early as possible. If the group is aware that the goal is multiplication, they will be less likely (notice, I said "less" likely) to grow settled in instincts that will prove to be unhealthy. We try to have this conversation with groups before they begin if at all possible.

- Initiate multiplication but allow the multiplication to unfold on its own. A group will almost never initiate multiplication - elephentiasis is far too comfortable. However, we try to resist the urge to tell people whether they should be a part of the new group or stay a part of the old group. Contrived relationships never work.

- Establish the leaders before announcing the multiplication. Multiplication takes work and intentionality. Someone needs to be on the hook for ensuring all that happens. Clear leaders will be important to establish in both the existing group and the new group.

- Plan extensively, multiply quickly. If the actual multiplication is drawn out, fear will emerge and the new group will experience a false-start which will crater future opportunities to multiply.

Multiplication is messy and difficult, but is almost always worth it. Tomorrow, I'll talk about some of the mistakes we've made in the process.