There’s a way of thinking about change in communities that’s so simple, it can be expressed as a formula. But behind this equation is deep insight into what causes people to change–and how much change they’ll accept.
Archives for 2012
When you’re trying to create change in a city, you have only so much energy and attention. What should you pay attention to? That’s where the three Ps–the three big questions every major change has to answer–comes in handy.
I’m beginning a series of short postings about how cities decide things and how leaders can help their communities make smarter decisions. I’m calling these brief essays “Rules for Reformers.” They come from conversations over the years with civic leaders and may help if you’re stuck on a community problem or obstacle. And, yes, that name may sound familiar . . .
The best leaders see unnoticed assets, find ways of making these assets greater and far more apparent, and bring others along on the journey. Cities need an army of such people, but at some times and in some places, just one will do. Here’s how one leader did all of that and changed his city in four years’ time.
Civic work runs on relationships. But because communities are diverse and power so diffuse, it takes connections that are both broad and deep to be effective. This, in turn, requires we approach relationship building differently in civic work than in other activities. Here’s a key to success: Learning to ask people to do things for you.