Our Approach

At the core of communities across our country lies a set of assets that, if recognized, can be the catalyst for strategic, intentional, and transparent innovation. Identifying these assets is central to the process of building a network of change agents required to achieve community transformation.

Communities dedicated to equitable transformation, will benefit from a consistent and transparent adherence to the core principles of social change. Those guiding principles are the cornerstones of our Building Better Community Roadmap.

Key Concepts

Built on twelve key concepts vitally important to plan for and experience along the way, the Building Better Community Roadmap is a strategic re-framing of community issues into opportunities and options. As communities across the world continue to struggle, we have the opportunity to support those interested on a meaningful and impactful journey toward a better, more socially just future.

Community Building Roadmap

What does Better look like? The two most important times in the life of a community:

  • The day a community decides to see beyond
  • And the day it finds out why

Better defines the why and describes the beyond: 

  • Stories
  • Lived experiences
  • What matters most
  • Relevant data
  • Histories
Building Better communities is a journey. The Building Better Community Roadmap provides a guide for the journey. The dimensions of the roadmap are important considerations for establishing a foundation to create Better.

The Building Better Community Roadmap provides a platform for reframing community issues and problems into opportunities and positive options. As communities across the world continue to strive for something better, we have the opportunity to join together in a meaningful and impactful way to help one another achieve the beyond.

  • Identify & Measure the Pain & Opportunity

    • Combination of conversation & Data .
    • Identify the compelling reason people would come together, or already are, and define what will generate passion .
    • Understand the "heart" and what will compel people to get involved and stay involved .
    • Is the pain/opportunity great enough ?
    • This almost always happens individually, or with a small community who has the same experiences.
  • Create the Personal Invitations

    • Who needs to be invited?
    • What pieces to the puzzle do you hold,what pieces do you need yet, and whoholds those pieces?
    • Why will people want to respond to theinvitation?
    • How is the invitation made, who is doingthe invite, and why does their voice needto be at the table?
    • Think about diverse stakeholders: formal, informal leaders, people with lived experience, content experts...
  • Describe the Community as a System

    • What are the key components of the community system?
    • What makes up the community?
    • What is the glue that holds the community together?
    • What are the key assets of the community? How do they interact and intersect?
    • Who are the "pillars of power"?
  • Co-create the Future Vision or State

    • The vision needs to be something people can touch and feel.
    • What methods can you use to get peopleengaged?
    • Create a community initiative inviting people to "draw pictures" of the future they see for their community.
    • Invite other sectors of your community to get involved.
    • Stories matter. Capture qualitativevisions of what the community dreams about.
  • Conduct an In-Depth Community Analysis

    • Take a deeper look at the data (both quantitative and qualitative).
    • It's e ssential to have a well-rounded view.
    • Inform analysis through the lens of the community as a whole system.
    • How are things currently functioning?
    • The gap between today and tomorrow must be identified and understood.
    • Data = Power
  • Develop the Community Scorecard

    • What matters to your community?
    • It's i mportant to create a "transparent" scorecard.
    • A scorecard is a way to keep track of the work that matters and creates a shared vision for the community.
    • Local data is important.
    • Keep in focus: "What question are we trying to answer?
    • Develop transparencyand trust. Individualvoices need to be at theforefront of what'sactually happening.
  • Plant Seeds for Social Change

    • Think big. Start small.
    • Understand the levers for social change.
    • Find the #BrightSpots and pass it forward.
    • Show what's possible.
    • Capture and nurture grassroots efforts and success.
  • Organize to Align with the Work Ahead

    • What will the organizations and structures look like to do the work?
    • How will the structures be held accountable?
    • Who will continue and sustain the work?
  • Build the Plan to Create Focused Action

    • What are the areas of focus?
    • How will we create rhythm, "heartbeat," and discipline?
    • What, what, where and when?
    • Build the tempo and cadence to maintain overtime.
    • What are the tools, resources and examples?
  • Build Coalitions & Strategic Partnerships

    • How do we create leverage through others?
    • Identify the key players and their piece to the puzzle.
    • Create the win-win relationships.
    • What is needed for long-term relationships?
    • Be clear on the need and desire.
  • Provide Constant & Consistent Feedback

    • Who needs what information?
    • What form will the feedback take?
    • What is the timing and cadence?
    • What are the expectations of receiving the feedback?
    • What methods will be used to generate and share information?
    • People receiving feedback must know what is expected of them.
    • Community Conversationsare vital.
  • Plan for Spread & Scale

    • Think five years ahead.
    • What is the infrastructure needed for the new system?
    • Define spread and scale for people.
    • The old infrastructure cannot uphold the new.
    • Initial pilots can be difficult to maintain without new thinking and new systems.