Implementation Month: Celebration

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It’s National Implementation Month! We are in a new year and a couple weeks removed from a horrendous 2020. There should be a renewed sense of purpose, rekindled fire within. It’s time to start getting things done!

Hence, some of you may have been confused a little by the title of this post.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It also makes for unhappy teammates on an implementation project. Especially if it is a rather sizeable project, or they are community volunteers that aren’t receiving a dime for their efforts.

In towns of only a few hundred people, volunteers are hard to come by. They are even harder to keep if you don’t make an effort to celebrate their commitment to a project.

Provided below are a few examples of how you can celebrate the successful completion of a project called out in one of your plans. Please note that many of these are simply not possible to do at this time due to COVID-19. However, it is good to lay down the groundwork now to  celebrate accomplishments down the road when projects get completed (and virus-related restrictions ease).

1. Host a Street Party

Street parties apparently started in New York during World War I where entire blocks were roped off and patriotic songs were sung and a parade was held to honor those from that block who had gone off to war. They continue to be very popular, but often a more relaxed event with music, food, and fun activities.

Why not use a street party to celebrate the completion of an implementation project? Maybe it is done to celebrate the completion of a downtown revitalization project. Showing off the renovated facades while enjoying the activities. Or maybe you are celebrating the completion of a new street to a newly platted business park. Street parties can celebrate a number of projects.

Hanging out in a town square.

2. Food Festival

Food festivals are similar to street parties, but can also include food-related events like chili cook-offs. They may also take place off that beaten path. Maybe it is within a newly constructed community center or a recently completed picnic shelter in the park.

3. Buy the Team a Meal

Maybe you don’t include the rest of the community as that can get rather pricy. But why not reward the team that worked on the implementation project with a meal? Maybe a picnic using the newly installed picnic tables in a recently renovated park.

4. Recognize their Good Work

Maybe food and/or entertainment is not the route to your team’s heart. How about recognition for their good work? Drag those involved in front of City Council and have the Mayor present them with a certificate and a strong, appreciative hand shake.

5. Organize a Charity Event

Sometimes people shy away from recognition and just want to watch people enjoy the fruits of their labor. Maybe a charity event is the way to go. Let’s say your community just finished resurfacing and installing new hoops at the basketball court in the city park. Why not host a charity 3-on-3 basketball tournament? Just completed infrastructure improvements in a residential area? How about a paint-a-thon for elderly home owners?

Whatever the action you take to recognize and celebrate the great efforts that were undertaken to implement your plans, just make sure you do it. Start the behind the scenes work to celebrate the efforts of those involved in your implementation efforts before the project completes. It’s not good to say “Thank You” 6 months after everyone’s moved on.