Ideas for Invitations

@debclark and @angela-greenyhahsn-nhs-uk drew up a great invitation for the Human Factors Community of Practice which I thought I would share for you to use a template for your own CoP invitations.

Download a copy of the Human Factors CoP invitation here.

Using this as a basis, I have made a template word doc you can use to drop in your own CoP info, should you so wish. I have written the links out on the word doc, so if you were to print it out the links remain valid, but feel free to hyperlink if sending electronically (it looks much neater!)

Download a copy of the Co-Creation Network invitation template here.

When we first started with building the Co-Creation Network online community, @george-porgmail-com gave us some sage advice about the art of inviting people to join your CoP, which is included in the CoP start up docs we provide for Facilitators. I have copied George’s mini-lecture on invitations below:

What is an invitation?

Invitation is a process that brings invitees and inviters more alive; in that sense, it is life-affirming.

“Life-affirming” is any act that energises those touched by it. It makes us smile and reminds us that life is good. It celebrates life and the multi-dimensional beings we all are.

The measure of an effective invitation is people choosing to show up and be open, curious andenthusiastic.

Crafting the invitation message

A life-affirming invitation speaks to the heart as well as to the mind of the receivers, to our child-like curiosity, and our sense of beauty.

A life-affirming invitation is opposite to the “lifeless invitation” style of “business as usual” messages, in which people are targets of the communication rather than co-creators of the something upcoming.

If you want to seed a life-affirming community, start with the small step of paying attention to how to make your invitation unique that touches, moves, and inspires the invitees.

How can you craft such an invitation?

  • Write an evocative subject line that triggers interest and curiosity
  • Use colors and pictures that make your message stand out from the avalanche of emails people receive everyday 
  • Include phrases that may connect with the invitee’s personal interest, which shows that you care
  • Use metaphors that are appropriate to the focus of your community
  • Write in a conversational style, as you’d speak with a friend, rather than in a formal, bureaucratic language

Crafting and sending the message is only the beginning of the invitation

What if we thought of invitation, as a process, a practice that we can become ever better at?

Invitation can also become a way of living, in which your your actions provide opportunities for others to discover their next level of potential.

Selecting the initial invitees to your community and crafting an impactful invitation message are only the beginning of the process. It doesn’t end until you talk with the invitees, and they either accept or decline the invitation.  For those who accepts it, the invitation process continues with your helping them find their place in the nascent community and join first meeting and conversations.

Learning assignments

  1. What other ways can you think of that will make your invitation more life-affirming?
  2. Draft of an invitation message that can touch, move, and inspire the invitees.
  3. Post your draft here, as a reply to this mini-lecture, so that you can receive feedback from your facilitator colleagues and the community advisors.
  4. Read and comment on the drafts of the others, including suggestions for how it could be even better.
  5. Observe the results of each of your acts of invitation, and ask yourself, what are you learning about your art of invitation? What could you do better, next time?
  6. Does this mini-lecture shift your sense of what is invitation about and who you are, as an inviter? If yes, please explain how?

If you have an invitation you would like to share with the Co-Creation Network, or any comments to add, please do so below! And get in touch with the Support Team if you would like a hand putting an invitation together.


Image via Creative Commons