If you want to get things done in communities, it’s critical to have public opinion on your side. But if public opinion is against you at the outset, is there a way to change it? Let’s ask the master.
How do you deal with a wall of civic doubt and negativism? Through quiet confidence and a simple plan: Take on something big and visible. Succeed. Then repeat, succeed, and repeat again.
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.
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.”
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.