Once you determine the level of interest, the next step is to bring together a core group to form a steering committee. This concept can be accomplished at the local, regional, or statewide level. While the inclination might be to cast a wide net, it is far more productive at this stage to begin with a smaller, core committee.
Ask questions that can assist you in identifying steering committee members. For example
- Who are the major stakeholders?
- Who has statutory or regulatory jurisdiction?
- Who can influence change in an agency, court system, or legislative process?
- Who is likely to think outside the box?
Once you identify the core group, take steps to formalize the group into a steering committee. A steering committee can, of course, be used for different purposes. Establishing its role in the initiative should be among its earliest actions. Steering committee members should
- Identify leadership positions and define the role and responsibility of the committee.
- Distinguish core and ad hoc members.
- Formalize the partnership through a written agreement.
- Establish the initiative's mission statement and set its goals.
- Set a calendar of regular and routine meetings using agendas and recording and sharing meeting minutes with all committee members.