Saturday, September 1, 2007

Chapter 10: Initiating Action

I chose to read Chapter 10, “Initiating Action”, which outlines the steps involved in implementing a successful plan. The first part of a systems strategy is “outlining action for change.” When creating a plan, Hallsmtih asserts that leaders must take into account all aspects of a community when envisioning an action. The underlying principle of all this is that “Actors combined with Resources produce Change.” Next comes the actual action plan, and the author points out that planners need to realize that the original form of a project is likely to evolve over time, and therefore needs to be flexible and possible outcomes need to be incorporated from the start. Once the plan goes into effect, an open flow of information becomes critical in indicating the success of a plan. Finally, the author concludes the chapter by reminding the reader that the actors must have integrity and what they want in the future directs how they must behave in the present.

What struck me most during this reading was the last item I mentioned above, how we must have integrity when creating an action plan for the future. For instance, if a city is in the process of creating a new recycling plan as part of their goal to produce less waste, then they have to apply those goals to the way they behave at that moment. So, the office in charge of carrying out this plan should practice recycling themselves and be vigilant in this- otherwise, in what position are they to tell everyone else in the city to recycle? Taking the small, first steps towards a grander goal and building on those initial successes is key, and furthermore, it gives momentum to the system so that other initiatives are possible.