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Communal Transformation

Leading Through Transformation
What does it take to Transform a Community?

So many communities are looking for ways to “transform” their lives in the hopes of giving birth to new life. What many communities fail to realize, however, is that transformation is different than ordinary change strategies. Patricia Wittberg once said, “The failure to articulate overall strategy leads to incrementalism that emphasizes maintenance concerns over revitalization.” She’s right. Too many communities are so preoccupied with maintaining life as it is (or has been) that little time is spent doing the hard work of transformation.

Communal transformation requires an all-out effort to forge a new dream, a new spirit and a new way of organizing life. It requires a deep and sustained commitment over time by leaders and members. It requires a new kind of partnership between leaders and members. It requires a leap of faith and capacity for depth conversations. It asks members of the community to appreciate their faith in the paschal mystery as central to the journey through the “dark night”. It transcends ordinary change efforts. It is more akin to “deep change” rather than “incremental change.” What’s the difference?

Incremental or Deep Change: What’s the difference?
Incremental Change
  • Rational analysis

  • Narrow in scope

  • Reversible

  • Extends the past

  • Holding on

  • Slow death

 
Deep Change
  • Intuitive in approach

  • Broad in scope

  • Irreversible

  • Discontinuous

  • Letting go

  • A leap of faith

 

The hard truth is that there are no easy answers and no off-the-shelf solutions. No one can give you the answers. What got you to today, will not get you to tomorrow. And those most at home with the way things were in the past are the ones who will be most resistant to transformational efforts. Still interested? Where there is good will and good processes, there is a way. Read more on the Journey of Transformation…