Thoughts about business and economic development in rural areas.

 

October 2008
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Archive for October 21st, 2008

Somebody oughtta…

Went to a community meeting recently that was well attended by folks who felt that something should be done about an issue. Great to see the enthusiasm but by the end of the evening it was obvious that something was missing.

OWNERSHIP! Not leadership, but ownership. There were many very capable leaders in the audience but what has not surfaced to this point is the group that will agree to passionately ‘own’ the idea. Everyone had opinions and shared them willingly but it was obvious at the end of the evening that everyone was looking to someone else to take the issue and run with it.

I think floating ideas is a great exercise but if there are no passionate champions at the end of the discussion we have to be ready to walk away even if everyone agrees that the idea is a basically good one. Pointing a finger at someone else and saying ‘Somebody ought to…’ is not the solution. In fact, assigning the task of implementing an idea to a group or agency that hasn’t taken ownership is a complete waste of time and money.

So what should we do?
1) Get people who are interested in the idea together for a discussion
2) If there is something worth pursuing, start a basic planning process.
3) If at the end of the basic planning process no one has expressed passionate ownership of the idea, admit it and go on to other business.

Life’s too short and money’s too scarce to spend either on even good projects that don’t have passionate champions and real owners.

The final line should never be, “Somebody oughtta…!”