Steps to Build Wealth in America's Rural Communities

Has your area grown in the last 100 years? Areas across the United States have not grown in population for more than 100 years, as rural communities have struggled how to address economic development, create more of a workforce and build population. We've learned that a community has a personality just as an individual does and to change how it looks at the world requires time, persistence, and a willingness to change the way they look at things.

Our experience tells us it takes at least a three-year commitment to change a community's personality and outlook. These super-fun, interesting processes are critical building blocks to begin a steady, consistent, long-term relationship-building, image-changing, sustainable plan to grow rural areas. Great benefits come for rural areas in this bottoms-up approach to community growth through building and strengthening relationships within and between communities!

Relationship Economic Development WUCA!-izes communities to:

  • prepare for newcomers,
  • learn skills to talk through community issues that positively guide the future,
  • learn more about their own area - how each community is unique and complements one another,
  • identify, invite, and welcome those from around the globe who want to live in rural areas, and
  • grow populations and business sectors.

Leadership Development

This 24+-hr classroom experience is available for up to 25 community members per class. This in-depth walk through our book and its exercises, The Be WUCA! Way, The ART of getting alongseeks to ingrain soft skills that lead to workforce and people engagement. When people truly walk this lifestyle, their personal and professional environments and relationships will change. When perceptions change, behavior changes, one person at a time. We recommend that a notable number of the starting class is selected from service sector employees in convenience stores and restaurants. These front-line managers and service industry professionals are often the front-door to any community and the impression a visitor/potential new business receives.

For faster results, we can train as many groups as desired.

Public Policy Institute

We’ll teach the art of deliberative dialogue to talk through wicked issues, not just about them – like school issues and immigration.

This powerful tool is the approach for schools, communities, business, families, and organizations to participate in the art of civic engagement in each school district. It’s powerful because dialogue includes the voices and values of all who want to participate – the more divergent, the more powerful. The outcome of these conversations will provide common ground to overcome school, workforce, and all critical community growth issues.

We’ve led hundreds of dialogues, including 108 separate ones in the four caucus/primary states. The report informed then-presidential candidates of citizen voice on healthcare and financial security.

We’ve written/helped write local and national issue books including county economic development, education, eminent domain and more. One we led with high school students on America’s Role in the World was included in the 50th anniversary of The Dartmouth Conference on U.S./Russia relations.

Professional Development for School Staff / community/Kickoff Back-to-School Speaker

Lead the year with a one-day training The Be WUCA! Way. This will set the stage for expectations and opportunities during the school year to impact thousands between staff, administration, students, and families.

Deliberative Dialogues

Held in each community of the school district, these dialogues will focus on workforce development and community growth. Using their training from the Public Policy Institute (above), community members will be able to co-moderate, record, observe, and be part of writing the report from value-based conversations that seek win-win outcomes, that, again, talk through issues, not just about them. This training will equip citizens on how to tackle the tough issues they face.

Community Builders – March-September/October

Community Builders is a fast, easy, super-fun way to change the environment of an area. From the March kickoff meeting through community tours and educational components during April/May – October, we’ll focus on technology infrastructure the first year in each area. This process allows communities to dig deep into their area and showcase what makes them proud.

We’ll repeat each year with a different focus, and beyond, if desired. It’s critical for sustainability and new ideas to bring in new people each year to create the town tours and to continue changing the culture through what is learned.

Years Two & Three begin the cycle again, with new professional development topics, participants, and more intentional connection with entrepreneurship in the school districts to impact student achievement and outcomes for students and communities.

Individual business session:                                                                Employees Leave Managers, Not Companies

This one-day session is designed to present a core WUCA! message for employee engagement and application for increased workplace productivity, customer service, and expansion.

Coaching in the Classroom (CIC): year-round

Global Horizons will be in the classroom once a week to focus on workforce development and entrepreneurship that nurtures great ideas from a student into potential businesses and connect them strongly with the business community. During three years at a rural Iowa school district, we reduced their high school “at-risk” population from 41% to 12% by teaching workplace skills.

Contact Global Horizons to begin your three-year cycle           repopulate your community!

Civility?

Name calling! Finger-pointing! Backbiting!

Blaming others seems to be the norm these days. Should it be?

Tear down this wall!

Years ago, East and West Germany became one nation. A wall was torn down. It is time our walls between differing ideologies, values and opinions come down.

Effective leaders cultivate a safe and supportive climate in which relationships are based on inclusivity, trust, and mutual respect. Only in a supportive environment can people feel safe to express differences of opinions and work toward “win-win” solutions.

This country and so many communities, groups, and political organizations need to listen to each other. Not just not talk and take positions, but to listen to why people hold a particular view. The environment we create teaches generations of individuals how to think about, talk about, talk to, and treat one another.

Listening is an action!

Listening is a skill that requires intentional development. Just as you needed to learn how to walk correctly, relationships require the skill to actively listen because much of the time when an issue arises, the problem on the surface usually has a problem behind it where the true issue lies.

We each view life and the issues we encounter through our own filters. Unique opinions and values form through our environment: the people we grew up with. Live and work around. Our experiences, thoughts, and perceptions about them. The values we have formed throughout our lives. We create environments everywhere. Family. Friends. Work. Worship. The grocery store. The car. Play.

Inherent in every relationship, conflict is a difference in perspectives. The diversity of perspectives within relationships helps generate ideas and facilitate change. If it is managed wisely, conflict is an opportunity. Listen for values to identify the issue.

Don't just talk about an issue, talk through it

The search for common ground on tough issues is more productive using a technique called "deliberative dialogue," seeking "why" people hold their position. Dialogue talks through an issue, not just takes a stand about - for or against - an issue. When you seek to understand the "why" others act the way they do, you discover a person's values. From there, you can work together to identify a positive outcome in a safe space. People can come together, talk through perspectives on issues, and find common ground that will create a better environment.

Consider these questions when identifying the "problem behind the problem." Be sure to intentionally involve all affected parties in the dialogue.

Naming the issue: What do you think is the problem? What bothers you?

Framing the issue: What can/should we do about the problem?

Deliberating to understand values: If we do what you suggest, what do you think would happen?

What would be fair? Effective?

Why would we be better off? How would we be better off?

What is the downside?

If there is a downside, would we change our minds? What different course could we pursue?

Acting together to find common ground: What would you and the affected parties be willing to do about the problem? What are you willing to give up to do what you want to do?

Are you seeking civility? Check your environment. See if people listen to and respect one another. If you need a technique, try deliberative dialogue.

"The Be WUCA! Way" teaches civility.

Learn - Do - Teach.