MSA (Men's Sheds Australia), has encouraged menís sheds to develop in ways that apply the following principles. There are more that can be added but experience suggests that these are critical to a strategy to build a successful and continuing menís shed. It will take some time for all of these principles to be applied and produce the results that will earn the respect of the menís shed in their community.
1. Local autonomy This refers to the organisational structure of the menís shed and involves local ownership and control.
2. Adapt to local needs The menís shed management has to identify the niche characteristics noted above and develop its program to that situation.
3. Quality management and operations It is almost as easy to operate and manage well as it is to ďmuddle throughĒ.
4. Success comes for a series of small steps Like a good cricket innings, it is built steadily through small steps that achieve results. That builds momentum and credibility. Many ambitious plans have faltered through attempting to do too much too soon and promising too much.
5. Needs healthy men The ideal is to have a membership that reflects the characteristics of the population. The fit, able and skilled provide the capacity to support those men in need of help.
6. Own funding capacity Some degree of financial independence preserves autonomy and flexibility in developing the program of activities.
7. Operates a menís health program This has to be developed as a core of the menís shed program Ė it may take some time to develop this part of the program.
8. Health program activities A variety of activities helps to keep men active, learning, interacting together and generally enjoying themselves in a stress-free environment Ė all are part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
9. Formal health program activities There is an emerging view that all of us should take more responsibility for our own health and wellbeing if we are to enjoy a full life and keep medical costs contained. The program should help men in menís shed communities to be active managers of their own health. This establishes the local menís shed as the pivot for menís health activities in their community.
10. Become part of the formal health system There is a value chain for the delivery of health services for men. The menís shed should identify the particular link(s) that they fill in the delivery of menís health services to their members and to the men in their community where they work and live.