Community breakthroughs are there for all to see
Innovative towns and villages do amazing things because the people have to make do with what they have as the photograph above shows. They will come up with many innovative ways to survive and thrive. They learn to utilise the resources they have available to them to make community breakthroughs. The photo is an example of the sort of sights people remember and talk about.
Think differently about new attitudes and new outcomes. The words ‘Not-for-Profit’ and ‘Non-Profit’ should be replaced with ‘Social Enterprise’. Unfortunately, this would sound too much like business to many, particularly those who see it as their right to have continuous government funding.
Social Enterprise gives positioning and branding a more acceptable image and more aligned with small-medium enterprises. In small regional towns and villages, not-for-profit is a concept that is not well understood. They are new enterprises to serve the community and they can also create more jobs.
What nobody believes or anticipates is that your little town or village could possibly be of any interest. This is something you need to overcome as quickly as possible, perhaps with a content marketing campaign, or social media. Many people are looking to maximise enjoyment while having the freedom and security that comes with knowing you have full control of your life. For these people, a lifestyle business in your community may be exactly what they need.
Ideas to create more community breakthroughs
There is a need to better understand your region and the people currently living there in order to predict future trends. What do they truly value? Do yu know what local enterprises will provide the most benefit to the community? These questions can be better answered through improved metrics and further study. Small scale manufacturing does not require big city facilities.
Start looking at the ‘movers and shaker’s in your community, people who can enable you to “see your community, or something in the world, differently”. You need these and other innovators to come up with revolutionary concepts that helped shape the way everyone sees your community in today’s world. Who can help you with capturing the ideas from the ‘flooded river’ of big data, become engaged with social media, mobility and generally trading beyond your community.
Vision development is an important key to community breakthroughs
Vision development describes the behaviour of creating a vision that is compelling and realistic. A clear vision for community breakthroughs will drive people’s desire to reach attractive and attainable goals. Good leaders that have this skill can make it personal and relevant to their small regional town or village, the environment and their circumstances.
Without a vision, a small community will continue to struggle from one catastrophe or disaster to another. Because of the limited time and resources, community breakthroughs are very difficult. Inviting an external entrepreneur to help create a vision for the community, might be what is needed.
Introduce a more holistic approach to your small regional community
Many of the small businesses and non-profits will not have a holistic approach to their enterprises because they think the community is too small. They do not address such functions as, planning, marketing, operations, finance, relationships, health and management practices. Rectifying this can have a big impact on innovation and creating new jobs. Unfortunately, there are fewer advisors and consultants in small regional communities and this can lead to complacency with the status quo. Without advisors, other ways need to be found to create community breakthroughs. A few small community focus groups can be set up to address important issues.
Without advisors, other ways need to be found to create community breakthroughs. A few small community focus groups can be set up to address important issues. The word ‘small’ is emphasised because it doesn’t take many people to brainstorm ideas and there aren’t many people to go around.
Introducing new processes for getting community breakthroughs
Many businesses lack good modern systems and processes needed to create breakthrough communities. They struggle to keep up with their old systems that no longer offer them a competitive advantage, or help to make better use of social media. The introduction of common systems and processes can lead to better outcomes for everyone as people help each other. Again without good advisors in regional communities pushing new systems and processes, the old systems and processes remain.
Motivation requires more than a moving speech, though great motivational talks can build excitement. Inspirational motivation is the intentional stretching of leaders and individual’s thinking. A good leader models behaviour that others aspire to achieve while setting clear and meaningful goals.
Simply leading people from a boardroom has the potential of disconnecting the organisations from their customers and their community. Try talking with the young people in your community, who are often overlooked. They too can have inspirational new ideas for their community.
Unfortunately, there is no general rule for determining what is ‘good’ image enhancement when it comes to people’s perceptions. If it looks good, it is good. However, if image enhancement techniques are used, then quantitative measures can determine which techniques are most appropriate for the small regional communities and the organisations in them.
Like bees to flowers, you must have the right colours to attract the most bees. A dull boring community does nothing for anyone, particularly new people who might be interested.
Fulfilling aspirations motivates community breakthroughs
Take out the ‘wishing and hoping’ and replace it with ‘good processes’ that will inspire new ideas, opportunities and innovation. Having goals makes the world go round. Even though you have to work and take care of your home and family, people’s personal aspirations can be driving forces in their life as well as the community. Nothing will make people feel more on top of the world than accomplishing their goals.
Framework for innovation and making community breakthroughs
A good framework provides a pragmatic guide that can help make better decisions. The framework can be a way to help people navigate around what needs to be done, even in small communities. Is your community going at the right speed to handle the coming disruptions that can create community breakthroughs?
Community engagement from the bottom up
All too often councils and governments think they know what is best, particularly when they are remote to the small regional communities they serve. While their collective wisdom might be useful, it is their capacity to implement that is found most lacking. This becomes particularly so for remote towns and villages.
Implement a technology platform
The technology world can be confusing, awash with software vendors touting amazing products. There is an endless list of software products to invest in, even for small regional communities. Having the timing and combination right can have a huge impact on the outcomes and breakthroughs you are seeking.
What can your community manufacture
Manufacturing can have potential, for small rural communities in certain contexts, particularly when you think of export opportunities. Take time to observe what manufacturing is being created in small communities in your region and across the world. There are sure to be opportunities for the taking.
How to generate inspiration
- Everyone has aspirations for their community, write them down clearly.
- Inclusiveness will go a long way towards inspiring people.
- Help people to imagine themselves fulfilling their aspirations.
- Consciously work toward each goal, each day.
- Recognise differences among your aspirations. Some you can action today, some will take years to accomplish.
- Progress should be considered each time someone does something related to the aspirations.
- Monitor and review your aspirations so you can maintain their power to cause community breakthroughs.
- As people achieve activities, no matter how small, they should be cause for celebration.
Analyse what you already have in your community
What usually happens in most communities is that the local people take for granted what they have to offer. They are so used to seeing or experiencing a feature of the small town or village they think it will be of no interest to anyone else. Investigate and analyse the world for what you don’t know, instead of trying to brand it with what you do know. You should want to be different and better than other alternative communities.
I have always been amazed at what visitors to a community will see and enjoy. The problem is that there are not enough facilities in the way of accommodation and eating places to keep them around and to spend money. Identify people who can examine the best data information and knowledge and people and discover what really matters and will lead to community breakthroughs.
You don’t need a big city for tourists to have amazing experiences. The unusual can be all that is required.
Inbound marketing is a key to changing approaches
Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than communities having to go out to get tourists and other’s attention. Your inbound marketing should generate the attention of customers and clients for the already established enterprises. It makes them easy to be found and draws people to them by producing interesting content.
Content is ‘King’, social media is ‘Queen’ and together they rule the world of the modern economy and marketplace. With this in mind, an audit of the community’s content might need to be higher on your priority list of things to do. http://goo.gl/yKSPzP.
Inbound marketing has become the most effective marketing method for doing business and enhancing community activity. So why wouldn’t it apply to the creating a community breakthrough for your community, irrespective of its size? Stop using the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for breakthroughs to happen.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content. Content that pulls people towards a small regional community and their businesses along with their products and services. By aligning the content you publish with your people’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
Major themes in community breakthroughs
- Content creation and distribution. Create targeted content that addresses real issues because that’s how to grow ideas and opportunities.
- Lifecycle marketing. Campaigns that address people’s needs and requirements as they evolve over time. Strangers become visitors, who become contacts and then customers or residents.
- Personalisation. Marketing becomes more personal because the content is tailored to the problems, frustrations, wants and needs of the people and organisations you are trying to reach.
- Multi-channel. You are now able to approach people where they are and how they interact.
- Integration. Content creation, publishing and analytics tools can all working together to promote small communities and its organisations.
Sharing is caring and inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with other small regional communities. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound marketing attracts qualified visitors and prospects to your business community and keeps them coming back for more.
Focus on lifestyle businesses in your community
Today people are very frustrated with the way they live and work. Their lifestyle balance is out of wack and they want to make changes.
A lifestyle business is a business set up and run by its founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more. They want to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle. If this is encouraged then a small town or village can provide a competitive advantage over cities and bigger regional centres.
Lifestyle businesses typically have limited scalability and potential for growth because such growth would destroy the lifestyle for which their owner-managers set them up. However, lifestyle businesses can and do win awards and provide satisfaction to their owners and customers. If sufficient high-quality creative producers begin to naturally cluster together in a small town or village breakthrough communities can be achieved.
Encourage people to start a home-based business because the costs of starting and running one can be very low. This can also be a way to relieve any unemployment in the community.
Get started, you can do it
A favourite strategy of many governments is making you feel incapable of accomplishing anything worthwhile without them. They remind you of your past mistakes so that even when you do make an effort, your fear of failure will hold you and your community back. The people involved want to keep their jobs and is particularly evidenced in the ‘Aboriginal Industry’.
This is commonly referred to as the ‘Failure Syndrome’. Governments seem to want you to feel so bad about yourself that you’ll have no confidence at all. But the fact is you don’t need confidence in yourself you need confidence in your community to deliver the lifestyle you want. No tangible good will come from your investment of time and effort if community participants don’t believe their time and effort was well spent.
Without that confidence, you’re like a car without fuel setting out on a journey. You look good and well prepared, but you have nothing to sustain the journey. As a community, you have the power to do what you never could on your own. Once you learn this truth, anytime you think you can’t do anything right your response could be. ‘Maybe not, but as a community, we can’.
When negative people say to you. “You’re not able to do this, so don’t even try. You’ll fail again like you did in the past”, your response should be. “It’s true; without the community, you’re not able to do much but as a community, we can do all we need to do”. Do don’t harbour the many issues small regional towns and villages have, nurture the few things that can make a real difference.
Why not put together some quotable quotes that will inspire your community to look for community breakthroughs.
“Those who have finished learning find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists”. Eric Hoffer
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. Abigail Forsyth
“It can be too difficult to achieve new things with old ways. The best way to escape from a problem is to become creative and innovate. “. Peter Sergeant
“No matter how hard you work for success if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralise your endeavours and make success impossible”. Baudjuin
“When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us”. Alexander Graham Bell
“You cannot make progress without taking action. If you wait for others you could wait forever”. Peter Sergeant
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly”. Lanston Hughes