On Collaboration

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Lately, we have been working on strategy and feasibility plans surrounding how to make the most impact in communities. The number one way that our efforts and *your* efforts, really, can be the most impactful is to have community buy-in, in a way that is both community driven and initiated.

Community groups, committees, residents, merchants and organizations that are on the ground and looking to join hands with you to further cool and innovative work.

City managers, Parks and Rec directors, city staffers, I’m looking at you here. You are busy and have your hands full running the whole town. You make sure the water is running, the police department is fully funded and that the grass is cut on the ball fields. Your first priority is not always planning a community mural that will brighten your downtown and attract social media attention. And, that’s okay.

This is where your community allies come into play. They bring in the passion, the perspective, the will and the manpower. They can’t always be controlled, but they have the social buy-in of your town and can be the best mouthpiece for economic development, downtown revitalization, residents recruitment, business recruitment, public art pieces and more!

Community members, real estate agents, merchants, churches, freelancers and more, this part is for you. If you have an idea and 15 minutes of time, don’t waste it! Write it down, throw it out on social media, shoot your town manager an email. You don’t have to know how it will all roll out, but invite your community to weigh in and see if it has legs!

Town managers, don’t ignore these emails. Even if its the most bizarre request to put elephants in the city’s water fountain. I’m not saying that that idea should be entertained, I’m saying you have a lot of imagination that can be creatively utilized to make your town the best version of itself, all informed by the people that call it home.

I know this could seem like the most common sense blog that we’ve posted. But, don’t disregard the power of collaboration. Also, on the other hand, don’t ignore the efforts and energies being wasted in committees in every town where there is a lack of collaboration.

Take a look at your community, find the groups that have overlap and get them in touch with each other. Not every project needs five leads or partners. But there is something to be said about people being aware of all that is going on in their town.

Collaboration matters. We are good on our own, but we’re better together. We have our own ideas that can turn into action when paired with others.