Since the first time I saw this YouTube clip made by Stephen Morris I have found Asset Based Community Development strategy so much easier to explain. Take a moment or two to watch this and even listen to the explanation of the physics at the end.
The prospect of building up enough energy to tackle even the biggest problems can serve as the motivation required to stand the dominoes up in the first place.
As The Re Group works with different organisations it becomes clearer and clearer it is the people within those organisations that make things happen, or indeed stop them from happening. For too long, with the best of intentions, "experts" have tried to helicopter in their "big dominoe" solutions without taking the time to recognise and build relationships with the "smaller dominoes".
Whilst their solutions may be entirely valid its all about timing. They need to take their place in a sequence of events which starts with the kind of activities that draw people to be involved and allow them to contribute.
A friend of mine says "If your vision doesn't scare you it's not big enough". I wonder if sometimes it is the fear being left on our own to deliver that we are really scared of? There's nothing wrong with big ambition but how often do we not make a start because we think the scale of the task will put others off and they'll walk away!
If a community feels valued and can see purpose in what they bring to the early stages of any project they too will feel part of the bigger picture. The early actions are the foundations that others build on and do not disappear or move away. Even when most people have forgotten how the journey started that starting point will still be just as important.
We shouldn't ignore small groups of people doing seemingly small and insignificant things, that's often how big things start. We should search them out and understand why and ask "So what do you think needs to happen next?".