Communities that are stagnating or in decline need new entrepreneurial style inputs.
Start a new approach from the beginning
The fifth point of the compass is where are you now. In order to arrive at where you want to go, you need to start from the beginning.
- What is the history?
- What made the community like it is?
- What are the root causes of today’s issues?
- What have been the milestones in the community’s development?
- Who are the people who made the community great, the movers and shakers?
- What happened to them, have they been ‘flogged to death’?
- How has the infrastructure changed?
- Is the current infrastructure adequate for a new start?
Given enough good information, it becomes much easier to chart possible solutions for the future. Many people want to just jump in and try the “big fix” without any consideration to the underlying circumstances, or the people who have gone before.
Start with what you have
It is no good just wishing and hoping that things will get better, or complaining about “if only I had …”. Identify the entrepreneurs in your community and start bringing them together. If the community had no true entrepreneurs then engage one from outside the community who had had experience with regional, rural and remote communities.
The reason I say experience with regional, rural and remote communities is because they will have had experience from a holistic perspective and they will have had experience in being able to see faster outcomes. While city experience is great the borders are usually very fuzzy and there are many difference influences that are beyond the control of the community.
Of course, if the community does not have an understanding of real entrepreneurial attributes, then it will make things much more difficult to move forward.
“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer”. Nolan Bushnell
If the community is to move forward you have to take a fresh look at what you have, understand the true value (not necessarily the perceived value) of what you have, and make a start. Every journey starts with the first step and if you seek out the action orientated people progress will be more rapid.
It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start. Too many new ideas and opportunities can sometimes cause progress to be paralysed. An experienced facilitator will in most cases save a lot of procrastination and valuable time, months, even years. In the meantime, valuable people may already be deserting the community and you have to decide “can you afford the loss”?
While change engines and events will impact your community, it’s not the change engine or the event that will have the biggest impact. It will be the way in which your community handles the change engines and particularly disruptive events.
What you can do as an individual
The key things that will bring about needed changes could be:
- Changing the conversations. Create new conversations, that will lead to better relationships, better health and better businesses as well as nicer places in which to live.
- Become a new voice in your community. Become a thought leader and start to set higher expectations that will have more people engaged in helping their A clear well-articulated vision for the community is both inspirational and motivational.
- Seek out, new people. People who will excite you about your community’s future and who can help you to make the necessary changes? Seek out people who know how to build bridges between the local government and the community.
- Create an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Bring the entrepreneurs together and practice the attributes of real entrepreneurs and the principles of economic gardening.
- Changing your reading. Read new books, magazines, and the blogs you read on the Internet. Keep in mind that one idea leads to another, so keep the flow going. It will also help you to encourage more content marketing in the community.
- Bring businesses and non-profit organisations together. Musch is to be gained for both business and non-profits when they collaborate and stop working in isolation. You will find they both have many ways of helping each other and the community.
- Writing your thoughts in a journal. Write articles about what you want. This can help enormously in clarifying your thoughts making them more realistic and at the same time you capture good ideas that can be used at some point in the future, instead of having to continually ‘reinvent the wheel’.
- Encourage voters. Encourage voters to seek out the best politicians for your community. Make sure their actions match their rhetoric or they are of no value to your community.
The important thing will be to allocate time each day to take on new information, record good ideas and opportunities and to change habits.
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If there’s one thing that frustrates entrepreneurs, it’s listening to those people talking-the-talk about entrepreneurship and not walking-the-walk. I don’t think I have ever met a real entrepreneur who not action orientated.
The people who have gone years without doing anything about building a successful community are unlikely to do much to improve the community in the future. They will, however, waste a lot of your time giving you and others their advice.
A common problem you will face in building a better community is waiting for the perfect time. Well, guess what? The perfect time never happens, start taking small actions every day starting today. There is never a shortage of problems to solve and frustrations to address.