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~Heather Strohm, Regional Extension Educator, and Community Development – Purdue University
We have always heard that change is good and change brings about new ideas. What happens when an event, business or community fail to change? When change fails to happen the business will ultimately close, the event will cease to occur, and the community will lose jobs–all of which hurt local residents.
Through the years, I had opportunities to attend an event that was regarded as a community celebration. For several years, I have heard local residents reminisce about the past history of this event compared to how it currently operates. Due to lack of change within the community, including local elected leadership and nonprofit board members, the event continues to draw fewer people annually than it did in previous years—and will likely eventually die off unless someone grabs the reins and energizes it. So how do you start to change something when no one is cooperating? While I don’t have the full answer to that, I would still like to share some suggested best practices:
Eight steps for productive change:
Sometimes new leadership is needed for change and sometimes current leaders need to look at their companies, events and communities in new ways to identify how to best support their ecosystem. As you consider change, listen to this podcast from University of Minnesota Extension for some more ideas: https://extension.umn.edu/vital-connections-air/special-episode-08-festival-and-events-during-pandemic.