Build community momentum

It should be borne in mind that there is nothing more difficult to arrange, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry through than initiating changes. The innovator makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old order, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new.

—Niccolo Machiavelli

Building an Action Team is just the first step in building true community momentum for the changes you have in mind. Now you need to get broader community support and awareness. Sadly, most communities are risk averse. People never really trust new things unless they have tested them by experience, which makes achieving change really difficult!

Change can happen effectively, however, and the following Change Formula explains how:

D = Dissatisfaction with current situation

V = Vision for a preferred future

P = Plan to achieve that future

Barriers = lack of funds, resources, skills, time, will, support

For change to occur, there needs to be enough Dissatisfaction with the current situation that people and whole communities want to overcome the problem. Sometimes that Dissatisfaction level can be so high that a new US president can be elected or the UK can opt out of the European Union, against all the odds.

If you need to build awareness or urgency about the Problem or Opportunity in your community, you may actually want to increase the Dissatisfaction by putting a spotlight on the current situation. This might sound slightly manipulative but don’t think of it like this. Dissatisfaction (combined with a clear vision and plan) is a desire for something better and is a positive force that will overcome Barriers to change.

Ways of increasing the dissatisfaction with the current situation (by building awareness and urgency about the problem or the opportunity) could be:

  • Calling a community meeting to discuss issues, opportunities and problems in the community.
  • Editorial support and coverage from the local main media (paper, radio and TV).
  • Social media communications via the Action Team members contacts.
  • E-mailing to target groups.
  • Speeches (using the Case for Change presentation) to target groups.
  • Expert presentations to target groups.
  • Asking the target audiences for ideas on how to fix the problem or use the opportunity, then feeding the results back to them.


  1. Discuss the results of your scorecard. If your project needs to build Dissatisfaction, think about how you can increase the Drivers and decrease the Resisters.
  2. Add your new actions to the CLIP One Page Plan (under the Action section).

Note: The other elements of the Change Formula (defining your Vision, creating your Plan and overcoming your Barriers) will be addressed in the Get Started stage of the CLIP Process.

Dive Deeper

The results of the 2015 Tasmanian Regional Innovation Survey provide a snapshot from across the state regarding the readiness for change in Tasmania and peoples’ overall willingness for regional innovation:

D = Dissatisfaction with current situation / Desire for better

  • Strong sense of need for change and interest in change, especially in the economy (82% see strong need, 63% have strong interest).
  • Strong interest across sectors in economic innovation (40%).

V = Vision for a preferred future

  • 78% see no evidence of a regional innovation vision.
  • BUT there is a clear focus on tourism, agriculture, forestry, fishing, knowledge services, government services, arts / recreation and manufacturing as industries with economic potential.

P = Plan to achieve that future

  • There are numerous government-driven plans but “linkages and synergies between them tend to be unclear and imprecise”.

Barriers = lack of funds, resources, skills, time, will, support

  • Average understanding of physical resources but strong knowledge capacity.
  • Average track record of taking advantages of the region’s advantages.
  • Average to poor track record by stakeholders and leaders of innovation.
  • Low interest, capacity and collaboration regarding innovation in government, social issues and environment.
  • Very poor track record and ability in implementing strategic projects, rallying support and overcoming setbacks and negativity.