The Unexpected Benefits of ABCD

user image 2020-12-21
By: John Hamerlinck
Posted in: Other

“Happy accidents are real gifts, and they can open the door to a future that didn’t even exist. It’s kind of nice sometimes to set up something to encourage or allow happy accidents to happen.” — David Lynch

An asset-based community development (ABCD) approach to creating change requires a recognition of the fundamental humanity of every member of the community, and allows each person’s gifts, skills, and talents to be shared and celebrated. It should not be surprising that these basic tenets often result in unexpected discoveries of human ingenuity and accomplishment.

Communities use ABCD to uncover, and creatively implement ways to address local issues. Along the way, however, small groups of collaborators, many of whom have only recently met, begin to see their community through a different lens. As people work together to create positive change in their community, social capital, and trusted personal relationships are created.

That trust can be a key to a sense of belonging for people who formerly found themselves on the margins. Being surrounded by gifted, caring people does more than instill confidence that committed people can get things done. It often uncovers a generosity of spirit, and a level of compassion that the community had not previously seen.

The unexpected benefits of taking the time to ask people what they care deeply about, and what their talents are, consistently changes the conversation. People are forced to rethink notions about where wisdom and expertise reside. That gives them confidence to believe that they don’t have to wait around for someone else do something about improving the things that they are passionate about.

NOTE: This is re-posted from my website, Leading Differently: Useful Explorations for People Who Want to Change the World. It is a companion piece to my post, "Asset Focused Leadership."

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John Hamerlinck
About John Hamerlinck
I am passionate about helping people create social change. My website is https://leadingdifferently.com/

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US

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training, research, writing, leadership development, strategic thinking/planning, workforce development, higher ed.

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Are people interested in exploring the use of ABCD principles to change institutional practice?
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