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.
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.
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.