Small Groups Culture
Small Groups are not necessarily a means to any pre-determined end; they can be simply a response to just a handful of people who sense the need for belonging to a community. People often intuitively feel the need to bring a layer of structure and intentionality to a life that somehow only seems to consist of otherwise random and unstructured realities.
People living with MH and SA/SU issues quite often experience a need for a regulated, more predictable environment. Along with this comes a need to do life together with other individuals.
During the Rehab phase, our old habits and old group of hangouts become removed from our lives and we begin to sense how those old groups monopolized our entire socialization opportunities. We get the fact very strongly that we must work to substitute new social activities if we are to experience successful Recovery. Small Groups become our best ally and being in a small group often becomes non-negotiable to our wellbeing.
At Harmony House we have a committed small group culture. For us, small groups are not an after-thought to the larger program. Our dedicated Small Groups are an integral part of the program; an essential part of the life-style here. It has become part of our organizational DNA that we organize everything with small groups in mind and everything we do points to group life. Our commitment to our Small Groups drives everything we do as an organization.
Architects of our Small Groups Initiative, are Social Services entrepreneurs and strategists, and help us lead the way to the forefront in developing our Small Groups model which enables us to develop a program that multiplies. In order for such an initiative to have any impact on an organization they must become part of the organizational culture. Senior members must be as involved as everyone else.
Bear in mind that there will be the need to continually reengineer the groups to adjust to any ebb and flow in demand and to follow our vision to facilitate involvement for every member in attendance with participation within a group or groups.
Social Architects and Engineers of Small Group start-ups are fond of looking toward the Starbucks model: by facilitating involvement in Small Groups, we help create community where we can make a difference in someone’s day. The idea is that by creating an environment where members, friends, and neighbors can connect with each other, we get to socialize while enjoying our morning with a great cup of coffee. It is about the social experience. Creating this type of environment benefits us because it connects people so meaningfully that it has the ability to change the quality of our lives. Starbucks is using coffee to promote connection but what they are really selling is a social experience. It has been remarked upon that ours is a culture that craves connection.