Facilitating Community Change
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Darvin Ayre, Gruffe Clough & Tyler Norris
Community Initiatives, LLC.

Introducing a comprehensive guide to designing, organizing and implementing community partnerships that generate positive outcomes.

Includes tools, resources and approaches based on essential lessons emerging from the "communities movement."

Facilitating Community Change
is a practical, step-by-step resource for community members and leaders wanting to build partnerships for healthier, more sustainable communities. It offers a highly flexible approach to harnessing the values, assets and aspirations of a community. Rather than presenting untested theories, this guide provides a comprehensive summary of "what works," based on extensive real-life experience with dozens of communities throughout the world.

What Do You Get from Using This Guide?
  • Learn how to design and enhance a community change process.
  • Help conduct effective meetings and community activities and events.
  • Help individuals and teams become effective change catalysts and leaders of a community change process.
  • Develop strategies for aligning resource allocation with shared commu-nity values and outcome measures Who Should Use This Guide?
    Facilitating Community Change is designed for community trainers, facilitators, l eaders of working teams, project coordinators and other key community catalysts (i.e. "practitioners"). The goal is to enhance the ability of facilitative leaders to improve the performance of their communities. What's in This Workbook?
    Facilitating Community Change consists of six content areas, or modules, drawn from the Community Change Model. Running through these modules are three sustainability streams - leading, learning and communicating.

    This guide can be used in a linear way to design and implement new initiatives. It can also be used in a more flexible way, drawing on modules and specific components, as needed, to enhance existing community change efforts.
    Below is a content outline of Facilitating Community Change.
  • ASSESSING READINESS: Identifying choice
    Learn before you leap! It is essential to size up a community's readiness and capacity to act before committing valuable energies and resources.

    ENERGIZING OURSELVES: Building and equiping a leadership team
    A diverse core group of people with talent, relation-ships, resources and credibility is needed to facilitate and lead the charge. A leader's role is not to have magic answers, but to elicit creative responses from his or her community in a manner that builds shared action. This requires new skills, such as facilitation and process design, to help the leadership team work effectively on issues outside their area of expertise.

    EARLY WINS: Getting to work
    A community leadership team becomes the catalyst for the successful launch of a community-wide change effort. They need to develop a clear mission, create an effective community process design, generate a powerful set of activities to engage and communicate with the diversity of the community, and establish a resource base commensurate with the task.

    ENERGIZING THE COMMUNITY: Building knowledge for action
    Lasting positive change happens when people have the passion to take action and are committed enough to persevere. A thoughtful and comprehensive process is needed to build the type of understanding that inspires action. It also helps the leadership team hone its skills in building teams, creating working agreements, using facilitation and listening skills; and practicing collaborative problem solving.

    SETTING DIRECTION FOR CHANGE: Fine-tuning our aim
    Translating a shared vision into a comprehensive action plan requires changing individual and organizational behaviors, impacting old systems and structures that may have outlived their purpose, and getting beyond quick-fix solutions. Community priorities need to be established for more than the most conspicuous issues emerging out of an assessment process.

    IMPLEMENTING CHANGE: Making it last
    Community initiatives that measurably improve health and quality of life inevitably touch the core of what it means to be in community. They build relationships of trust and commitment across lines of sector, race and class. They develop the skills of collaboration and the muscle of civic capacity that allows a community to do what it must. They engage in a continuous process of learning. They evolve ways to make community improvement a way of life.

    About the Authors
    Authors Darvin Ayre, Gruffie Clough and Tyler Norris are consultants, keynote speakers and trainers with more than 30 years of combined experience in over 300 communities in the field of community change. They have tracked, tested and refined the Community Change Model on which this guide is based with hundreds of community initiatives and public and private organizations in a wide variety of urban and rural settings around the United States and abroad. In the course of their work, the authors have developed a vision and proven strategies for how people can live and work together. They created Facilitating Community Change as a call to action and idea source for community leaders.