Community of Action

December 27, 2012Comments Off on Community of Action

A community of action has unique characteristics. 

If you're trying to change something in the world, then your processes will be very different.

First you need to start with the discontent. True change begins on the fringes. Begin with the people most affected by the issue. Directly contact them, understand their issues, bring them into a group with others like themselves. 

Once you have activity and an understanding of their goals, work to bring in those with whom they have developed bonding social capital (not bridging). These are the people most likely to support them and give up their time to help make change.

Gradually you establish clear common goals, sets of actions, a sense of community.

However it always, always, begins with a small group of discontents. 

Every non-profit I know takes the opposite approach. They assume their cause is so urgent, so pressing, that if they just reach enough people things will happen. It doesn't. It begins with the small group of people. Get those right people in the beginning and everything else becomes much easier. 

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