There is an essential order to planning and organizing community change:

FIRST: WHY & When

For the sake of what are we taking action. Out of what history and what historical mind set? Out of what belief system? At what scale? In what place(s)? For whom? Is this the time for a change of mind and direction?

Meadow’s first three “existential” leverage points address this first stage. The conversational methods for this stage must include dialogue and participatory action learning.

SECOND: WHO & When

Who has had a voice? What kind of a voice have they had? Who must have a voice? What kind of a voice must they have for the change to emerge? When will the conversation change?

Meadow’s 4, 5 & 6th “political” leverage points Address this next stage. The methods for this stage must include dialogue, participatory action learning, social organizing, and democratic political action.

THIRD: HOW & When

What are the nonlinear dynamics of this complex social system we are intervening in? What are the feed back loops, the delays, the unexpected consequences. What are the surprises that matter?

System dynamics modeling is the only way to understand this. Will we invest in this method or will we suffer the consequences. When do we need to create and update the model in order to have the necessary tool for policy design? Who will get to see and use the model? Will it be transparent to the whole community? If not, why not?

FOURTH: WHAT & When

What are the visible linear systems, the processes, the inventories, the investments, the adjustments? How do we manage, day-to-day, the system that has emerged from the more fundamental leverage points?

The conversations here are about process flow, hand offs, organizational structure for coordination and decision making. How will we operate within a hierarchy or command and control structure in a way that does not kill the engagement and creativity of the participants. How often will improvements be made? Who will be allowed to make improvements? Who will see the performance data?

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