… an HPL, a collaborative project, and a magnificent learning experience…
- Have we succeeded? YES!
- Have we been challenged? YES!
- Have we made a difference? That is still emerging and will continue to surprise us all!
The Pathways Support for District U had an ambitious purpose – to provide support as clubs in District U approach their own Pathways Rollout.
Toastmasters and Pathways enthusiasts, the plan to support the 160+ clubs in the various Divisions of District U has reached its ultimate milestone.
The missions of this HPL included:
- To enable skilled Toastmasters to apply their online leadership skills in the role of Pathways Guides in a totally 100% Pathways Support Program
Each OPG may have about 8-10 clubs assigned or selected
- To provide support to District U clubs in preparing for their Pathways rollout in May 2018
We ensured that the rollout would be successful for District U by our planned club visits from 30 Online Pathways Guides.
Now you may be wondering how that was achieved. The answer was:
- project management through a steering committee of four people; George Marshall, Michelle Alba-Lim, Mark Snow and Carole McCulloch
- careful selection of the team of online guides
- considered club assignments based on time zone compatabilities and language skills.
- close liaison with Kate Reynerson, chief Pathways training officer at World Headquarters.
In all cases we expected the guides to perform the tasks and presentations as both Ambassador and Guide. The majority of those selected already had experience as a Pathways Guide and/or had already immersed in Pathways in their own districts.
How did we ensure that we were working in accordance with WHQ preferences? Our Chief Pathways Guide, George Marshall, liaised with Kate Reynerson, chief Pathways training officer at WHQ who provided us with the data that was required, including full lists of club officers for all clubs in District U.
What were the challenges?
- Meeting our deadlines set down in our project – middle of January to select steering committee; middle of February to recruit guides; middle of April to assign clubs; and middle of May to complete club visits.
- Contacting the executive teams of the clubs and getting a response in a timely manner
- Visiting the clubs during their meeting times, virtually – we also needed to update our shared tracking sheet so that WHQ could see our progress
- Providing relevant presentations about the Pathways Experience – often meant a much reduced time frame and attention to details as requested by some clubs already immersed in Pathways (eg the Online Clubs)
- Giving answers to the myriad of questions that ensued.
What were the successes?
- Global networking on a much bigger scale – reaching out to clubs in countries spread across the world
- Creating networking relationships of trust for the executive teams at the clubs of District U
- Preparing the majority of the clubs for Pathways before rollout.
Now we have an ongoing task to support the clubs in Virtual Support Sessions (15 per guide) stretching from May to August 2018. We are able to call on all our skills now to ‘mentor’ each club in integrating Pathways into their clubs. The Steering Committee will still provide Guide Support Sessions each month to ensure that the Guides can continue to tap into the wisdom of the crowd and share their experiences.
This has been the biggest project I have been involved with and it was a pleasure to work alongside the Steering Committee and the Online Pathways Guides.
Thank you to the Steering Committee for providing their 360 degree evaluations of my work as a leader, I value your opinions, commendations and recommendations.
Thank you to the Online Pathways Guides for your unswerving attention to detail and provision of service, I am honored to include you all in my Personal Learning Networks.
Final outcomes of this project are shared with all the Online Pathways Guides and the members of the Online Alliance in their social media discussion forums.