If the assembly can demonstrate sufficient passion and commitment to addressing the problem at hand and is willing to work toward the desired outcomes, formalize your common interest and organize into a coalition for action. Some members will want to get to the work immediately, but taking time to establish ground rules, agreeing on methods for making decisions, and defining roles and expectations in order to become a functional body will be time well spent. Such well-organized groups can then hit the ground running.
You have talked to people on the phone, written letters or otherwise gotten agreements from a core group of individuals to come to a meeting. You have talked about the perceived need. Now it is time to plan the first meeting.
The planning process can be sequenced into steps of developing the needs assessment, vision, goals and objectives, and implementation plan, and assigning tasks. These various steps are not often accomplished in a concise, timely manner. Participants must listen, learn, understand and eventually build rapport and trust with one another. This only comes through discussion and dialogue. Most newly forming coalitions are not ready to tackle vision and mission statements at the first gathering. Take the time to lay a solid foundation of respect and trust; it will bear rich dividends in the future. These steps are outlined below: