I’m not sure what “spiral learning” actually means

I saw a note in my notebook about spiral learning that I wanted to talk with you about. My note just said, “spiral learning – we tried that once, and it didn’t work.” I think I was talking with Rob Hatch when I wrote it down, so I probably stole the idea from him. Today it sent me into a thinking spiral, in a good way. 

I know you face opposition in your town. When you try any new idea, there is always someone ready to say no, or to shoot it down with some variation of “we tried that once.” 

Here’s where spiral learning comes in. Like a spiral, when you come back around to an idea that got tried before, you’re different. You’ve learned something, good or bad, from the failure. Or they have, the people who tried it before. You’ve done lots of other things since then and learned from them. You gained other experience. 

The people in your town have changed. Some have moved in, and some moved out. Different people are serving as leaders. Different resource people from outside of town are available. Financial resources are different. If there’s more money, that’s more to spend. If there’s less, that’s incentive to try a smaller scale version and get creative with non-monetary solutions. 
Imagine the next pessimist who tells you “We tried that once,” and you explain the spiral learning that has happened since then. They might still hold on to their negativity because they don’t want to do anything, but they will lose their power to influence others.  
Keep shaping the future of your town, 

PS – Do you have any gaps, empty lots or burned out shell buildings downtown? Tired of staring at them year after year? Deb Brown and I have a dozen examples and ideas that you can use to change all that. Join our next webinar July 12 or catch the replay July 13-26: Filling the Gaps Webinar.