Preventing Group Elephantiasis - Part 3

Healthy groups multiply rather than just getting bigger. However, it isn't always an easy process. We've tried to establish multiplication as an expectation for our groups, but it doesn't always go well. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

- Don't let the vision leak. Because multiplication isn't always comfortable, it's important that the purpose stay in front of both groups until the multiplication is complete. Some people won't like it; some people won't buy it. Make sure everyone understands it.

- Don't wait until the group has no other options. If you wait until the group is unhealthy and obese, you will carry unhealthy DNA into the new group.

- Don't wait until you feel like all the leaders feel ready. In truth, no leader will be ready to lead until he or she has led. It takes experience, not just training, to make a leader. Often we find that multiplication forces new leaders who would never feel ready to spread their wings and discover something they didn't previously realize.

- Don't talk about "splitting." Ever. Splitting is violent and detrimental. Multiplication is natural and necessary for future maturity. Relationships are not severed in multiplication but they do change. It is tempting to talk about a group "splitting." Don't.

- Don't fold in the face of pushback. Multiplication isn't always fun. There will always be people who won't understand the point; who favor stability over instability. The funny thing about multiplication is that it's the only way to ensure stability in the long-run. The status-quo is a delusion when it comes to groups.

- Don't worry when things don't work out like you planned. Multiplication is a messy process that contains a lot of variables that can't be predicted. Keep the vision clear, keep your leaders encouraged, and roll with the punches.

Multiplication is the only way to ensure that what is great about a group gets passed along. When it's done often and done well, the entire organization gets healthier.