9. ASKING QUESTIONS RATHER THAN GIVING ANSWERS INVITES STRONGER PARTICIPATION.
People in communities are usually asked to follow outside expert’s answers for their community problems. Agencies usually ask community members to help
with the agency’s answer. A more powerful way to engage people is to invite communities to address ‘questions’ finding their own answer-- with agencies following to help.
10. A CITIZEN-CENTERED “inside-out” ORGANIZATION IS THE KEY TO
A “Citizen centered” organization means is one where local people control the organization and set the
organization’s agenda. Community engagement initiatives rarely succeed without residents as
leaders organized to do intentional relationship building. It takes an organization of citizens to
organize a community. It is also very valuable to have a staff person to assist relationship
building as a ‘community organizer’ following the citizen leaders’ agenda.
11. INSTITUTIONS HAVE REACHED THEIR LIMITS IN PROBLEM-SOLVING.
All institutions such as government, non profits, and businesses are
stretched thin in their ability to solve community problems. They can not be successful
without engaging the rest of the community in solutions. We need to be more skillful in wider engagement. Everyone must do their part.
12. INSTITUTIONS AS SERVANTS
People better than programs engage the wider community. Institutions of government, non profits, and business can be of invaluable help supporting the work of
citizens’ to engage their fellow community members. Ask people what they need and offer
help. Leaders in institutions have an essential role in community building as they lead by
“stepping back” creating opportunities for citizenship, care, and real democracy.