The More Disruptive the Issue, The Higher the Cost it is To Resolve

In this issue of Frankly Speaking, we talk about disruptive, “wicked” issues. "Wicked" issues are those with high emotions, where many different opinions exist on how to solve the issue, and it is critical that the issue is solved for the organization to move forward.

Combating Democracy's Problems

The Community Engagement Institute

Learning from each other addresses democracy’s problems. Many times, citizens feel sidelined because they don’t think they can make a difference. “Wicked” issues, such as immigration policy or school consolidation, are framed in ways that promote divisiveness and not all options for solving them are considered. Democracies depend on constant collective learning and a system to promote dialogue.

The result is a lack of people participating in the decision making process or the perception that "the end is already decided, so why bother?" Decisions are often made by a small group or hastily without giving the public the opportunity to be able to reach shared or reflective, informed judgment.

Small communities and public institutions are facing daunting problems that can best be solved if all citizens are given the space to work together to produce common ground on the things upon which they do not agree. Traditional ways that communities go about solving problems may limit citizen participation, so when people disagree about what to do, it prevents them from joining forces.

Political institutions’ efforts to organize citizens can backfire by draining away the vital energy that people bring. Mutual distrust between citizens and many political institutions has been increasingly disruptive for decades. Citizens see politicians as unresponsive, as well as ineffective, and the political environment doubts that the general citizen is responsible and capable to make informed choices.

The Global Horizons, LLC Community Engagement Institute teaches community and elected leaders how to create safe, neutral space for citizens to work together in a session/s moderated by a professional trained in the art of Deliberative Dialogue:

 ·         Identify/name the issue in their own terms of what is most valuable.

·         Frame the issues so that a range of actions are considered and the trade-offs required are evident.

·         Make deliberative decisions weighing the trade-offs, to turn hasty reactions into sound judgment.

·         Identify resources that are available, even intangible ones like enthusiasm and commitment.

·         Organize actions in ways that builds upon the common ground identified and helps the other become better.

Asking questions in a different way can help open up the values of certain positions.

Questions such as:

·         How does this problem affect you and your family?

·         What do you think is the right thing to do?

·         What might be the consequences, both positive and negative?

·         What are our options?

·         Who else do we need to solve the problem?

·         What resources could we use?

·         Can we support one another?

·         What are we learning?

When you set up the process to allow citizen participation, great things happen. People actually get along! They come up with wonderful solutions that, when they come together, are better than any previously proposed.

To learn more or book a training on the art of Deliberative Dialogue, contact Kimberlee Spillers, kim@ghorizons.com or 712-250-0275.

We know how to help your organization move forward. Together.

What Will You Become?

     Keep in mind this fact, only four percent of what you do is a conscious thought, which means 96 percent of your actions and your beliefs and what you do is subconscious because you have programmed yourself so well. How many communities, organizations, churches or workplaces are just like this! Just because someone has different thoughts or they look different, people automatically react to them in a negative way. 

     How many of you grew up and said, “I'm not going to be like my mother?” How many of you are just like your mother, as in this story? 

WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT THIS WAY!

      A mother and daughter were preparing a roast for a family dinner. The daughter cut the ends off of the roast before putting it in the roaster, just as she was taught. She asked her mother, “why do we cut the ends off of the roast before we cook it?” “I am not sure,” said the mother. “I guess it makes it taste better, but let’s go ask grandma.”

      So they went to ask Grandma. “Grandma?” asked the mother. “Why did you teach me to cut the ends off of the roast before cooking it?”

      "Because it makes the roast taste better,” responded Grandma. “Besides, that is the way my mother taught me. Let’s go ask her.”

      So the three of them went to the person who started the tradition of cutting of the ends off of the roast.

      “Great-Grandmother why do you cut the ends off of the roast before you cook it? Does it make the roast taste better?”

      “Heavens no,” said Great-Grandmother. “I cut the ends off of the end of the roast because that is the only way I could get it to fit into the pan I used.”

      Sometimes it’s helpful to look at the history of why we do things. Is it really necessary to continue some of the things we do or do we do them just because we are comfortable doing it that way? Do we do things just because we have always done it that way before.

      When you keep doing the things to get what you get, you keep getting the things you always got.

      You can change without improving, but you cannot improve without changing.

      Do you know anyone who has changed their life because of the intentional choices they’ve made contrary to their upbringing or circumstances?  On rare occasions, we see someone break out because of a certain talent they have, or they want their life to be different than how they grew up. They say, “Absolutely not!  I'm going to change my environment and I'm going to change the way I act to my environment. I’m outta here to find a new way to live!”

      Maybe it’s you. You want more. You want different than you are living. It takes conscious thought and commitment to change a view of the world. It requires constant, diligent, it’s-in-your-heart-and-gut passion to change.

      The biggest gap in growth is the gap between knowing and doing. In other words, you cannot grow if you do not do something toward growing. To discover the path in front of you, you have to start moving.

      Just as Martin Luther King said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

       

Global Horizons - On the Leading Edge of Thought