Most local officials have it wrong about citizen engagement. The point isn’t to hear what the citizens think about issues before the government. It’s about something deeper: understanding citizens’ long-term interests and desires. If done right, it can then lead to a second important goal: Recruiting citizens in taking on a community’s greatest problems and opportunities.
Archives for 2012
Change usually creates resistance, and big changes create big resistance. So how can you lower the fear level for your civic project? Start by shrinking the change down to a single slice, offered in the right place and managed in the right way.
When things you’ve counted on don’t work anymore, advice will fly in from all sides. How do you make good choices for a city or an organization when the alternatives are so different? Take a deep breath, and set about answering three simple but important questions.
The best leaders are those who see dimensions to issues that others don’t. The key to that kind of thoughtfulness is knowing how to question assumptions. Here’s how to build a checklist that will help with seeing problems as like or unlike those that have come before.
Cities are often bogged down in unproductive debates for a simple reason: They’re talking about issues in the wrong way. Smart leaders know the right sequence, which involves talking thoroughly about the problem and the benefits of solving it before talking about the solution. In other words, “what” before “how.”