Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our Neighbors

Your town has two types of residents: (1) those who cannot leave, and (2) those who choose to be there because they like it.

(We usually think that conservatives are the ones who want change, but they might be the original residents who can't leave. They want to make the town better. Those who resist change are often those considered to be more liberal: they moved to the town because they liked it. Why change what we like into something we don't like? So many of them fight change. The point: don't pigeonhole people. The ultimate show-stoppers might be people you never suspected.) 

To create positive change, you need a strong, motivated coalition of people who will not give up when facing protracted opposition. You can't avoid the opposition. If the person who challenges progress the most were to suddenly die, another person would rise up to replace the deceased challenger. 

One hint: stick with a few goals you can accomplish--low-hanging fruit--and thrash early. 

Thrashing is the term Seth Godin uses to describe the “apparently productive brainstorming and tweaking we do for a project as it develops.” You have to so this during the conceptualization stage. Projects that allow tweaking at the end are never completed. You can tweak forever. You need to force agreement on that one issue: after we agree at the beginning, no one is allowed to derail the project by opposing it at the end. (That is much easier in a company than in a community. But without following that rule, you cannot succeed.)

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