Working With Your Community

Is this important enough to be involved?

Each organization has a vision of those it interacts with. Understanding, respecting and confirming the wants and needs of all involved is frequently the challenge which undermines growth.

Surveys and focus groups can be helpful.

Ultimately understanding boils down to facts and observations. Underneath experience and intuition will be observable occurrences and measurable actions. Asking the same person the same question many times will not improve the quality of the response and usually results in unintended consequences. The responder learns and chooses from the extremes of gaming the system, avoiding involvement or active rebellion. Understanding how to respect the people in the community and their values provides the path to productive involvement with any community.

How about sitting back and waiting?

Doing nothing is a strategy. Ignoring the wants and needs of those you are working with certainly is a simple tactic to follow. Many are committed to the time honoured process of the wide spread broadcasting their offerings, hoping that if enough impressions are made it will stick and someone will care. This process was good enough in the past. Costs continue to be incurred, opportunities are noticed by others and the culture of indifference become growing issues when doing nothing is the strategy.

"Without understanding today and yesterday it is difficult to build for tomorrow."