“Take Small Steps” doesn’t mean just any small step ???

You’ve heard me talk about “Take Small Steps” before. It’s part of the Idea Friendly framework. It’s how you and the crowd accomplish the big vision you have for your community. But not every small step is an Idea Friendly Small Step

Here’s an example. When Deb worked at a chamber of commerce, they were given a long list of recommended actions from a design group. She picked out one, hanging holiday lights downtown. She told me her plan to make that happen. She would call the city manager and have him tell the maintenance and utility guys to hang lights downtown. Boom, take small steps accomplished! Right? Wellllll….. no.

See, Take Small Steps is how you and the crowd accomplish the vision. You and the crowd. Where is the crowd in that holiday lights example? They aren’t there. 

Take Small Steps includes small but meaningful participation by lots of people. It’s crowdsourcing, and it takes a crowd. 

How could you crowdsource holiday lights? Let’s turn it over to everyone. Let’s say, “Hey, we’re going to light up the town for the holidays. Who wants to take a tree downtown to decorate?” And let people do it. Invite building owners to light up their buildings. Invite businesses to hang lights in the windows. Invite everyone who lives in a house to hang lights on their house. Everyone with an apartment can hang lights in their windows. If you can drag one lamp into the window, you are part of lighting up the town. Then let’s have a community stroll, maybe someone will serve hot chocolate, and we can all look at the lights while we build our sense of community. Everyone can get involved. 

That’s Take Small Steps. Small but meaningful participation by everyone. No one is in charge. 

It doesn’t matter if the lights don’t match. Who cares if one tree is beautifully decorated top to bottom in all white, and the next tree is mixed colors and only 6 feet up? Who cares? No one is in charge. Value everyone’s participation. 

It’s dangerously close to chaos. It is chaos. And that’s the goal. If that thought makes your stomach hurt, you might want to join us for the next webinar, called CHAOS: Wait, am I still in charge?

Keep shaping the future of your town, 

PS – It’s cool to hear from you, no matter what country you’re reading from, but it’s double cool to hear from my local neighbors. Shout out to my hard-working local tourism committee, who tell me they read these emails and pass them around.