Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Challenges of change

Key Points:
- Change is not static, it is an ongoing metamorphoses.
- In order for change to be effective those effected by the change must be involved in developing it.
- There are different players in change: Innovators, change agents/ opinion leaders, trendsetters, conservatives/mainstreamers, reactionaries, and curmudgeons. Each plays a different role in the change process, whether it be by enabling or inhibiting it.
- Conflict is an inevitable part of the process to create change, a facilitator needs to anticipate this instead of fear and deny conflict.

The idea that was most important to me during this chapter was the idea of involving community members in the process of change. This fits in to the question of how do we get people to grasp an idea or complete change in thinking. Hallsmith settles this problem by explaining that change is gradual. Ideally one should not have to get people to except an idea but come up with it themselves. In this way people will no longer see it as an outsider coming in to create change but as actions coming from within the community. This can be done through a group process, although this can decrease our ultimate vision more will be accomplished.

Despite Hallsmith’s urges to include the community some of her methods seem to include the community members in a false manner. She describes reactionaries and curmudgeons as those against change, portraying them in a negative light. Viewing them as such would seem to lead to more conflict as these members of the community will feel they are not listened to. Additionally Hallsmith portrays conflict as a completely negative experience, ignoring the fact that often creativity and understanding can come out of the “storming” phase.

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