ABCD Training Group
Asset-Based Community Development
Building Communities From The Inside Out

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On working in and with communities
Back | Principles | Home

On the role of the "gapper"
On power
On working in and with communities
On working in the "real world"
On scale and the importance of locality
On doing the work
A Summary of the Basic ABCD Process
  • One word: Ask

  • Engage the community around a question, not an answer

  • When you ask, you need to listen to the answer and follow-through

  • Community building takes circles (associations centered on consensus, relationships, caring)

  • "Partnerships" must be citizen-centered to engage the community

  • Success builds upon success

  • Start small

  • A community's gifts are perishable--it's better to identify and successfully use/connect a small number of people than to identify but not use a large number

  • Start with an easy goal

  • Start with an issue/goal that is "winnable"

  • If something works, do more of it

  • Know yourself, especially your boundaries

  • When entering a community, check your ego and attitudes at the door

  • Also recognize you do know what to do--remember what you already know

  • In working with a community, remember a leader is someone with a following and beware of false leaders (individuals or groups seen as leaders by outsiders but not by community members)

  • No amount of doing the wrong thing will make it the right thing

  • A community can only tackle a certain number of issues (or an issue) at a time

  • Pick your fights/choose your battles

  • Be a wise steward of the limited (volunteer) energy available in the community

  • Recognize that timing and the confluence of events do play a role in community building