Becoming involved with the community ecosystem
Who will help you to improve your community ecosystem and who will not? Understanding the mindset of the people when it comes to improving their community ecosystem is critical. Like any ecosystem your community ecosystem needs fertiliser and to be treated with respect.
Just because you are dealing with people in authority, and who have the financial capacity, doesn’t mean they will become engaged. First, you have to understand their mindset. When you know people’s attitudes, you will have a better understanding of their desire to do anything for their community.
Some people would rather be doing something else than helping to fix the ecosystem.
When approaching a community or business to help with the development of their ecosystem or solve problems in their community, there will be several different mindsets to understand before anything else. There are two critical things people will be looking to accomplish:
- They are looking to you to solve pressing community ecosystem problems
- Leaders want you to provide them with opportunities to improve their future outlook
There will also be two attitudes that will indicate they are not interested in being involved:
- They are satisfied with the way the community ecosystem is performing
- The people do not need any help; they can do what is required themselves
Once you know which of the four attitudes is predominant, you will be in a better position to engage them much more competently.
Solve pressing community ecosystem problems
The person or persons will be in a problem-solving mode when something is bothering them or not performing to their expectation. When the problem or frustration gets to the point that they want to fix it, they proactively seek out people and resources to help them.
When you encounter such people, you want to understand the issues and help to solve them with your offerings. Share new ideas and possibilities with them for how to improve their community.
Providing opportunities to improve the outlook
These are the people looking to grow, make their community, businesses or personal lives better. They are looking to arrest a decline, create new jobs or somehow take their community to a more sustainable position.
They are often looking for new and innovative ways to do so. What’s keeping them up at night is not problems and frustrations, but a passion and excitement for achieving innovation, growth, or re-positioning for the future.
The community may already be doing well, but if they see an opportunity which can boost effectiveness, or improve their outlook, they are open to it. They are continually looking for ways to improve their ecosystem, even if nothing appears to be a problem. They are willing to invest in any programs where the return is worthwhile.
Focus on their aspirations and ask questions to understand how you can help them get to the future they are seeking. Look at ideas, opportunities and possibilities while inspiring them with your ideas around what they could achieve with what they already have.
You will have much higher success by focusing your time and effort on these people than trying to convince those who think everything is going well and do not need your help. They are scanning the market for insights to advance their communities, so be ready to act.
Satisfied with the way the community ecosystem is performing?
Even if you can see something is not working in a community and you can see possibilities to make a positive difference, be careful you could be wasting your time and effort.
You will find many leaders who recognise problems in their community, but they are either satisfied with the status quo or just not willing to put in the effort to improve. The reason for this can soak up time and are usually not worth the effort.
It is a challenge to convince people they should be dissatisfied. At most, put these people and their community on your long-term nurture list. Check in every so often, but not too often it wastes your time.
They do not need any help to improve the community ecosystem
These are the people who think everything is going well and they can handle any problems all by themselves. They may be overconfident and don’t perceive any need to take more action than they already are. They may too busy keeping up with their success and don’t want to rock the boat when, in their opinion, everything is going so well.
Often these people will have had little worldly experience, they could feel threatened, they have no spare resources, or their egos are out of control. There is little you can do to convince these people they need your help, even if there are glaring examples of possibilities to improve the community.
“The question is not how to survive, but how to create a more responsive ecosystem so a community thrives”. Peter Sergeant
“Do not wait to strike when the iron is hot but make it hot by striking”. William Sprague