Friday, July 5, 2013

Tool Spotlight: Points of Unity

Points of Unity is a tool for developing a set of shared values or principles with your group. It allows you to create drafts of points, to vote on them and edit them, and to choose which points to adopt as a group. Having a set of principles that everyone agrees to is an important foundational component of almost any organization, and this tool makes it easier for groups to craft these points.

Use points of unity when you want to identify a short list of things that everyone agrees to. Some examples might include:

  • A bill of rights and responsibilities for members of a group.
  • Ground rules for better communication in meetings.
  • Principles to be included in a group's mission statement.

You can also use Points of Unity for less heavy things, like:

  • Songs to include in the next party's playlist.
  • Strategies for the group to adopt to combat the moth problem in the pantry.

How to use Points of Unity

  • Click "New Board" to create a new set of points.
  • Name the point set with the framing question or idea for the set of points. Some examples might include "Bill of Rights", "Community Agreements", or "Organizing Principles for our group".
  • Add your group as the owner of the set of points. Alternately, you can keep the set of points open to the public by leaving the group blank.
  • Vote for points by clicking the triangle arrow.
  • When the point has enough support (by whatever threshold your group sets), click "adopt" to promote it from the drafts.
  • Anyone can edit a point to change the wording or meaning. When they do so, the point's votes are cleared, so only do this if the change is worth it. You can see the history of edits to the point and its supporters by clicking "history".

Keeping a standing set of principles

A great way to use Points of Unity is to create a set of core principles that guide your group. Whenever a new person joins the group, ask them to visit the set of points, and to vote for all the points they agree with. If the new person doesn't agree to a given point, or has new suggestions for the group to adopt, take the opportunity for the whole group to revisit the set of principles.

Find more info on the wiki, or contact us for support.

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