Change: With a Hammer or With Time

People love change, they just don’t like transition!  https://youtu.be/pgVVsr8Q49w

If it wasn’t for change, we would not have electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. We would still be using the teletype, drums, or fire as our form of communication.

But what is it about change that people do not like? It is the part of change that makes them uncomfortable. 

Good leadership is all about scanning the landscape and looking toward the future to help make circumstances better for all involved. Great leadership is all about helping people make the transition through the change that needs to take place.

That is why change cannot happen quickly. People need timie to get ready for the change to take place. People don’t resist change, their programming does.

Great leaders help people transition from one habit to another. The period of transition, is when you make the best out of the new!

Think of the change you want as an ice cube. Frozen in a particular, solid shape. There are only two ways to change an ice cube! A hammer or time!

Change .jpg

Change happens all the time. It is the great leaders and managers that create an environment where the transition from one habit to the other is meaningful.

High Schools - Rural Community Job Creators

Growing our economy and saving our schools and communities can be done by creating high schools that teach young people they don’t have to work for a big company or for other people. Teach them that owning their own business is a possibility and, in fact, is a local strategy that will grow the economy. The best way to accelerate our job creation rate is to embrace and support policies in all levels of the political spectrum that create entrepreneurs. This is especially critical in today's job market, where change is taking place so rapidly, it's challenging to know what "jobs" will be available in the next three to five years. Especially in rural communities, business creation and succession are easier to determine and execute.

If we really want to make a difference in our economy and grow our towns, we must focus on entrepreneurship in our schools and towns. Don’t just create an entrepreneurship "class." Create a holistic entrepreneurship school that incorporates entrepreneurship practices into the core curriculum and an ecosystem in the community to support entrepreneurship.

We need:

  • to encourage people to dream.
  • to help talented individuals start companies that create business models that grow big-, medium-, small-sized, sustainable organizations.
  • to encourage students to create local jobs by owning local businesses.
  • to support them to grow regionally and globally.
  • entrepreneurship schools that give students alternative curriculum that teaches the components of business planning and use their youthful creativity to design the future.
  • holistic schools that engage youth to develop as local leaders, energizing them through entrepreneurship and business growth.
  • policies and new traditions that include youth in decision making for family-friendly communities.
  • to teach the importance of philanthropy and giving back locally.

Many of our towns are losing population. Schools are losing enrollment, and budgets are shrinking. We can turn around this trend by giving our youth an alternative to working for others and an alternative of having to move away to get a good job. That alternative is owning their own business and locating in the town where they are educated. 

Imagine a school in your town that incubates business ideas and business models that will spin out to locate on Main Street or can be run from a home using the community’s local technology, contributing to and growing your local tax base!

Do your students see a future for themselves?

Gallup identified the reason students drop out of school and disengage in education: they have lost all hope in graduating. They cannot see how the education they are getting will lead them to where they want to go. Students will engage in their education when they see how it will provide them with a good job and a chance for a good life. For many, it is giving them hope that their “good job” will be created by their own creativity and the realization that they can own their own business.

Innovation itself doesn’t create sales. The entrepreneur is the connector, the person who envisions a valuable product or concept and its customer, and then creates a business model and strategy that creates sales and profit.

This isn’t just a school’s issue. For many towns and cities, it is a community survival issue.

Entrepreneurship is a long-term commitment that needs the support of the local community, local school district, coupled with state policy support. From his book, The Coming Jobs War, Jim Clifton, chairman of Gallup, states, “If you were to ask me, from all of Gallup’s data and research on entrepreneurship, what will most likely tell you if you are winning or losing your city, my answer would be, ‘5th-12th-graders’ image of and relationship to free enterprise and entrepreneurship.’ If your city doesn’t have growing economic energy in your 5th-12th-graders, you will experience neither job creation, nor city GDP growth.”

 Entrepreneurship schools in our education system is a must and needs to be a supported strategy by leadership on all policy levels for our healthy, growing, successful future.

Who powers your town?

The dominant theme on any news is how “bad” big business is and how many employees “they” have added or taken away. Many people think that this country is run by “big business,” but actually, our country is really run and dominated by small- and medium-sized businesses. Ninety-eight percent of a community’s new jobs are created by businesses you see on your Main Street, home- based businesses that are a part of your town’s hidden economy, and many other of your existing businesses that you count on to meet your needs.

Clifton continues, “as of 2007, there were about six million businesses in the United States with at least one employee; businesses with 500 or fewer employees represent more than 99% of these six million. There are slightly more than 88,000 companies with 100 to 500 employees and about 18,000 with 500 to 10,000 workers – and only about 1,000 companies with more than 10,000 employees.”

Math says, of six million U.S. companies, only 107,000 of them have more than 100 employees. That leaves 5,893,000 businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

We work with communities on many different levels time in very rural areas. We’ve watched communities spend many thousands of dollars to “steal” companies from other towns, thus creating a neutral net gain of jobs in the economy. Many of those companies, after they have used up their tax advantages from relocating, will look elsewhere to gain more tax advantages and their loyalty to that community ends as soon as they receive a better deal, if there was any loyalty to begin with.

This is not just about taxes or regulations, though those are important components to the economy. Our focus is about teaching young people from a very early age that there is an alternative to working for someone else and that is creating your own business and products and working for yourself.

    According to Clifton, “the United States has successfully invented and commercialized between 30% and 40% of all breakthroughs worldwide, throughout virtually all categories, in the last 200+ years.”

    That is a startling statistic when you really think about what that means.  We have a culture of creativity and invention. We also have a culture of taking those inventions to market.

    That takes an entrepreneur.

    Who are your entrepreneurs?

    It appears to us we have been losing "entrepreneurial spirit" in our creative business cycle. Many community businesses are third-generation owners, passed down in families, leading to many of our communities and leaders losing their entrepreneurial culture, innovation, and drive.

    Entrepreneurs are the bridge to the innovations and those customers that will use the products, and the business model is everything! You can have all the inventions and innovative products in the world, but without the business model the entrepreneur creates to bring a product to market, new inventions and innovations sit on the shelf.

    Entrepreneurs are those who usually start businesses, but teaching entrepreneurship in school also introduces the concept of “intrapreneurship.” Intrapreneurs work inside companies and are the brains and energy behind creating customers.

    An entrepreneur/intrapreneur will create business models that will identify more customers and create innovative ways to address local, commercial, and social concerns.

    Who do YOU see has a great idea that can become a successful business for your community?

    If you'd like to explore ideas for your school and community, we're here!

    WUCA! and Politics

    We were told that WUCA! should stay out of politics. That we should focus on doing WUCA! and not get into the "mud" with the others. 

    If new to WUCA!, the acronym is to Welcome, Understand, Comfort and Appreciate yourself and others for great relationships. bewuca.com

    Actually, in part, WUCA! was created in response to politics. Politics where one side bullies the other and people don't get along in business, community, organizations, school, family, church - you name the entity. 

    WUCA! asks how do you value other people? How do you value yourself? Do you look for ways to be offended and strike back or do you try to understand the "why" of the other person's thinking and build a relationship with them?

    WUCA! has the power to elevate and improve politics when you look inside yourself and take responsibility for the way you react to the outside environment. No one else can make you feel angry, sad, mad, glad, offended, or any feeling, only you can. You allow your feelings by the choice of the response you make. 

    The Welcome in WUCA! is about self-responsibility and how you choose to feel. In each situation, determine the outcome you want and act to achieve it. Welcome frames your ability to respond in the way, with the words and actions, you choose, for the outcome you want.

    Understand is to listen. Do you really listen or just wait to talk? Listening involves all your senses because only seven percent of what is said is heard through the words spoken. Body language and tone make up the other 93 percent of what we say.

    Listening also involves the values and history of the receiver and speaker of the communication. How did they grow up? What were their parents like? What happened to them when their brain was developing during the first five years life, when the brain makes more than 80 percent of its neuron connections? Do you know the why behind the words? 

    Comfort in WUCA! is to know your passion, have a purpose in life, with a clear vision of the future and goals to reach your vision. It is being comfortable in your own skin with who you are and where you are going. 

    Appreciate yourself and others, as unexpressed gratitude is ingratitude. Appreciate people for who they are, while they are living. If you wait until their funeral to give their eulogy; it's too late for them to hear.

    From what we experience and observe, WUCA! belongs FIRMLY planted in politics and in life, for relationships - and politics - are all around us. How we behave and treat others is a constant and creates the world in which we live.

    When you Learn WUCA!, Act WUCA!, and Teach others to Be WUCA!, you will change the world.

    We know how to help people get along in all settings. If you'd like to know more, reach out to Kim, kim@ghorizons.com.

     

    Immigration Dialogues

    Is your community wrestling with immigration?  Are you unsure or fearful about how to proceed? Do you see approaches that are ineffective and polarizing for your community?

    Bring the Community Engagement Institute to help you talk through, not just about issues around immigration in non-threatening conversations. This on-site community engagement process uses value-seeking conversation called deliberative dialogue. Deliberative dialogue builds relationships that allow respectful understanding of, and appreciation for, the viewpoints of all people.

    This dialogue setting creates an atmosphere where people can participate and understand why another person holds a view on an issue – to hear what has happened in their life to cause them to think the way they do. The result of deliberative dialogue is that relationships are built and common ground is discovered to move forward in non-violent ways.

     Global Horizons specializes in processes that engage people to work through issues, not simply discuss them. The philosophy generates relationships that stimulate any community of people to become the best they can be to work creatively and productively together. Healthy, respectful relationships must be in place for a community to move ahead. 

    Change Your Response to Change Your Circumstances

    We teach in our workshops that everyone loves change, they just don't like transition. Change is nothing more than creating new habits, taking some people longer to adapt to new ways of doing and thinking about things. 

    Habits are merely reactions and responses we have learned to perform automatically without having to think or decide, most by our subconscious. Fully 95 percent of our behaviors, feelings, and responses are habitual.

    All of our attitudes, emotions, and beliefs tend to become habitual. In our lives, we've learned that certain attitudes and ways of feeling and thinking are appropriate to certain situations, so we tend to think, feel, and act the same way whenever we encounter what we interpret as the same sort of situation.

    For example, over time, arguments between spouse, business partners, or communities, become habitual. People learn to “push buttons.” You say this to me, I say this to you, and back and forth, acting out the identical script and responding in exactly the same way as you have done many times before.

    The great news is that these habits can be modified, changed, and reversed, simply by taking the trouble to make a conscious decision, and then practice and act out the new response or behavior. It requires constant watchfulness and practice until the new behavior pattern is learned, but it can be accomplished!

    In "The Be WUCA! Way," we call this "driving your WUCA! CAR," for C (Circumstances) + A (Actions) = R (Results.) To change your circumstances, you have to change your actions to get the results you want. This is the only way to achieve what you want.

    Seven pledges to change your habitual response:

    Raise your right hand and repeat after me! 

    1. I will be as cheerful as possible.
    2. I will act friendlier toward people.
    3. I will be less critical and more tolerant of other people, their opinions, failings, and mistakes. I will place the best possible interpretation on their actions.
    4. I will not judge other people. I will not let my own opinion color facts in a pessimistic or negative way.
    5. I will practice smiling at least three times during the day.
    6. I will react as calmly and as intelligently as possible.
    7. I will ignore completely and close my mind to all those pessimistic and negative comments that I can do nothing to change.

    Simple? No. But each of these habits of acting, feeling, and thinking has an influence on your self-image. Commit to these seven pledges for 30 days, then teach them to somebody else. See if worry, guilt, hostility have been decreased and if confidence and a better outlook on life and your situation has increased. 

    Learn to drive your WUCA! CAR to get different results in your life. The Be WUCA! Way is a great book to begin the process to change your habits. www.bewuca.com

    What if Congress and State Legislatures were Split 50/50

    I was told once by an Iowa state senator that the only time she remembered getting "real" work done is when the legislature was split 50 percent Republican and 50 percent Democrat.

    This got me to thinking, what if there was a constitutional amendment that required Congress and State Legislatures to be 50/50 by the parties?

    You could still hold party affiliations, still elect by party in the primary, but the determining factor of governing would be the requirement of equal party/power balance in state and federal Capitols.

    One of the moves that helped in Iowa was to have shared leadership and co-chairs of committees.

    If we had equal weight and balance, there would be no more "blaming the other party" for not doing anything, since whatever was done would be passed by bipartisan compromise. If the matter at hand was vetoed, all responsibility would fall to the chief executive of the state/country and there would be override opportunity by a 2/3 vote.

    It might even take out the need to sign executive privilege declarations.

    Here is what the National Conference of State Legislatures says about the issue:

    http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/incaseofatie.aspx

    In Case of a Tie......

    (Legislative Deadlock, Tied Chambers)

    Every even-year election from 1984 through 2010 produced at least one deadlocked legislative chamber. Here is what legislatures suggest to make a 50/50 work.

    ·      View the situation as a challenge, not a dilemma.  Have the attitude that you are going to make it a success.

    ·      Use organizations such as NCSL to find out what other states have done who have faced deadlock. Then open up lines of communications with those states.

     ·      If possible, get a mentor in one of them—someone who is willing to help you through the details.

    ·      Begin negotiating as soon as possible. The negotiations will take time because this is a very stressful and often traumatic period. Have more than one person from each caucus on the negotiation team; this helps generate broader support for the final agreement. Negotiate carefully over the make-up of your committees because they play a very important role in the legislative process.

    ·      Put people who aren’t intensely partisan or ideological in leadership positions. Cooperation and productivity are more important than who gets the credit for each individual issue.

    ·      Establish and maintain good communication; it is the key to avoiding problems.

    ·      Don’t forget a mechanism or an "escape valve" to keep the process moving ahead.  You might need it in case important or critical legislation gets bogged down.

    ·      Let the public know what’s happening.

    50/50. Shared power. Working toward common ground on every issue that comes before the governing body. Might be worth a thought. 

    The biggest gap in growth is the gap between knowing and doing. In other words, you cannot grow if you do not do something toward growing. 

     Just as Martin Luther King said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

    Rural Communities: Stuck and Spinning Wheels

    In this blog, the context of “communities” is perceived as any group of individuals

    who work to make life better for all people in all groups.

    Is your community growing in population and new business, or does it feel you are “stuck” and spinning your wheels?

    Do the "good ol' boys" want you to believe they know what’s best to develop the community, even when you are skeptical they are self-motivated, rather than looking out for the good of the whole?

    If you are growing, great! Keep doing what you are doing!

    If you could use some help, here’s a technique to help your community move forward in the best way possible: deliberative dialogue.

    In a Be WUCA! community, all people work on public problems together, like what to do if the school is struggling, or your population is dwindling away. What sets a Be WUCA! community apart is its focus to talk through, not just about its issues using a technique called "deliberative dialogue.”

    This type of conversation gives amazing results because community members talk with each other for mutual understanding, not decision making, to find common ground. You get to hear why an issue is important to your neighbor from their values and experiences, not just venting.

    Be WUCA! community work creates the environment where all people thrive and feel part of their future. It’s a place where all feel WUCA!: Welcome. Understand. Comfort. Appreciate.

    Community members are the experts, so public deliberation begins as citizens - not the good ol' boys or experts - name a problem and identify potential approaches toward it. Through dialogues in a safe, neutral space, people take time to carefully consider advantages and drawbacks of the approaches, leading to new understandings and shared directions or decisions.

    A Be WUCA! community opens the door for all sectors to work together to enhance community life, where old relationships can change and new ones develop. You’ll even find that individuals or organizations who have a history of arguing or never talking can begin to work together!

    Growing your population and businesses using this Be WUCA! process creates a place for all people to be involved, because growing a community is up to each person to talk well of and promote your town, not because it’s someone’s “job.” 

    Communities that want to grow need to create opportunities for all people to get involved and then individuals need to take the opportunity and do it.

    Make growing your Be WUCA! community your responsibility.

    To learn about how these questions can help you grow, check out http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-community?rq=WUCA!-ize

    Rural America, You Have So Much Potential

    Growing up, my mother was told by my teachers that “I had so much potential!” The problem was I did not see my potential because I had such a limited view of myself and my teachers did nothing to pull what potential they saw out of me.  

    It's the same with our communities. We cannot see from the inside what others see from the outside. We must draw out potential. 

    I have a passion to build rural America because for more than 30 years, I have seen the innovation, passion, drive, business sense, and heart of people who love where they live and want others to love it. I have seen and know the potential of rural America - it's vastly more than agriculture! 

    The result about potential is that rural America’s counties are losing more population than gaining.  The problem is not lack of buildings or industrial parks, bike paths, or lack of jobs.

    The key to building rural America is relationships.

    Communities must recognize and knock down the "walls" built through many years being jealous of other communities. For holding grudges from long-ago athletic competitions or school mergers where one community did not “get the building.” For family feuds created from generations of animosity toward each other. I know of one community who festered for 100 years before they realized how to grow.

    You can draw out potential in your community by including new people who bring new ideas, new directions, and creative approaches to old problems. 

    People will stay when they:

    • feel they belong. 
    • know that they belong to something bigger, with a vision for a better future.
    • see themselves as equal participants in community growth. 
    • know why the community is a good fit for them.
    • know that the community has a sense of purpose.

    The role of community leaders is not to come up with the great idea, but to create an environment in which great ideas can happen, are encouraged, and are supported.

    Ask these questions of your "newer" citizens to help your community see itself through the eyes of another, perhaps one whose grandparents aren't buried in the cemetery.
    •    How long have you lived in this community?
    •    Why do you think we continue to exist as a community?
    •    For whom do you think we are a good community?
    •    Tell me a time when you did not feel you belonged/were welcome in this community.

    When you open your environment to Welcome, Understand, Comfort, and Appreciate new people, new ideas and creative approaches to old problems, your school will increase enrollment, your tax base will increase, and you will have more volunteers. 

    Want to draw out potential in your community? Check here for more ideas and call us to grow, 712-250-0275; kim@ghorizons.com.  http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-community

     

    Questions to Understand Another's Viewpoint

    The news environment is throwing sound bites of information. Politicians spew carefully crafted words, even defining new phrases.

    When faced with sound bites, try these questions to help you with your position and understand another’s: 
    •    Do I believe what I’ve heard?
    •    I don’t like what I’ve heard, but for those who feel that way, what do they deeply care about?
    •    Is what’s being said based on a fact, an assumption, a false conclusion?
    •    What might happen to others from my ideas?
    •    What are the trade-offs I am, or not, willing to make about what’s being said?
    •    What is valuable to me or those who support this way of thinking?
    •    Could it be I am mistaken in my belief?
    •    Would I come to the same conclusion about some other person in a similar situation?
    •    Why should I continue to act and feel as if this were true if there is no good reason to believe it?

    Questioning and verifying what we hear is good for ourselves, our businesses, communities, and country.

    It’s the Be WUCA! Way.

    These questions can grow your community! Check it out at http://www.bewuca.com/blog/community-engagement-institute

    My "Why"

    April 28, 2011 will be a day I will never forget. While driving home, I got a call from my oldest daughter who lives with her husband and six children in upstate N.Y. It was a call that no parent ever wants to receive.

    The Way I was Parented
    To set the stage, I was raised by a single mother with a brother and two sisters. My mother was an entrepreneur and very successful in business.

    She would raise us all with a very tight fist. In fact, a favorite saying of hers was, “I don’t care if you love me or not, but by God, you will respect me!!”

    Now a child will be trained by their parents and other people close to them. Children learn by what they see, hear, feel, smell, and taste. They can become the parent in the way they were raised, with the same actions, sayings, and rules for their children.

    Some children though, make a conscious decision to not be like their parents and choose to raise their children differently. I am very thankful that my oldest daughter chose to raise her kids differently than she was raised.

    You see, I adopted many of the rules, moods, emotions, and sayings that I grew up with. Things like, “if you don’t finish your dinner tonight, you can have it for breakfast in the morning.” or “Go get the hairbrush and bend over my knee and I’ll really give you something to cry about!”

    In my house, it was the same environment. So much so that it was extremely hard for my kids to develop a relationship with me as their father. They were more scared of me and my moods than anything. It was like walking on eggshells for them.

    My Self-View Impacted my Personal Relationships
    Also, I did not make great choices with other relationships. One extreme example was a very abusive relationship. One incident was when this woman walked into my apartment and was so angry that she started to break every potted plant I had, throwing them on the floor. It scared the kids and I so much that I took them into the bedroom and we huddled in the corner until she left and we heard the door shut.

    You see, I had such low self-esteem that I could not even get out of a very bad relationship because of the guilt and low self-image I had. I wanted someone to love me and I would take anyone that had the appearance of love. What I thought love looked like. Something that I did not feel growing up.

    As you can imagine, this did not build a great relationship between my kids and me as their father. Who would ever expose kids to a relationship like I did and not protect them from seeing anything like what they were exposed to? That too, played heavily on my guilt. It just piled guilt upon other guilt and a self-image that I had accumulated during my life.

    When they could, both girls decided to see what it was like to live with their mother. So they moved when each was around 14 years old.

    Each did come back however, and live with me after a couple of years. My oldest daughter graduated high school and went on to college. She met her now-husband and moved after graduation to N.Y., where her husband grew up.

    My Daughters Grew Up
    As a little girl, my eldest had a fantasy of having a family just like Laura Ingalls Wilder on “Little House on the Prairie.” Her husband has a core family and many brothers and sisters. He is such a great husband and father and she is such a great wife and mother. See, she made a conscious choice to not accept the “program” that I offered on how to parent.

    My youngest daughter, Erin, did not fare as well. Ever since she was a pre-teen, she was being treated for different types of neurological symptoms. Uncontrollable hiccupping, depression, and other emotions that I thought might just be age- or stress-related.

    But as she got older, symptoms got worse. By the time she graduated high school, she was on many neurological drugs to combat symptoms such as hearing voices, hyperventilating, and lack of focus. She would start school and not last two weeks before she would get sick and have to drop out. She would start a job and have to quit.

    She was admitted to in-patient facilities and counseling sessions to help her figure out what was wrong. No one in the family or the professional community could figure out what was wrong with her. I always thought that it was because of my actions and relationships that she was like this.

    One afternoon I got a phone call at my office from my oldest daughter. She told me she got a call from her sister, who wanted to come to N.Y. and live with her and her family. But my oldest did not want that. She did not want the responsibility of taking care of her sister along with her own family.

    So being the good Dad, I talked with my youngest on the phone and told her that she could not go out and live with her sister. Well, I was told that I could not tell her what to do and she was going to go anyway. 

    That is when I hit the roof and yelled into the phone that "she was not going and I forbid her" from going out to live with her sister.

    All I heard from the other end of the phone was a “click.”

    That was the last time I heard from her or anything about her for more than nine years. She did go out to N.Y. but she did not let anyone tell me where she was, how she was doing, or anything about her.

    Then nine years later, I got that phone call from my oldest daughter when I was driving home. She said that she had something to tell me about her sister.

    My youngest daughter was taking a nap one afternoon. When she woke up and got out of bed, she fell to the ground and died.

    It was that quick.

    The next time I saw my youngest daughter was in the funeral home, lying in a cardboard coffin, wrapped in a sheet with only her face and one hand showing so I could at least touch her one last time. Since it was an unobserved death, she had to have an autopsy and the funeral home did not prep her for viewing since she was going to be cremated and we were not having a public viewing.

    What we found out was that she did not have psychological issues. She had Lyme disease.

    In tracing it back, as far as I can figure, she had been bitten by a tick around the age of nine. We would go for walks in the woods and when we got home, we would check for ticks. I must have missed one.

    Great Relationships are now my “Why.”
    My poor relationships with my daughters and my poor choices in my intimate relationships became my “why.” The why I choose to teach families, businesses, communities, and organizations how to build awesome relationships, because you might not ever get a second chance with a person.

    The best teachers are the ones that have failed the worst. The best teachers are the ones that have been through the darkness and learned how to come out better on the other side. The best teachers are the ones that can take their mistakes and offer them to others as lessons to be learned from and not repeated.

    Relationships are everywhere and the basis of everything. We need them in the workplace, we need them in our families, we need them in our lives, period.

    However, if you do not have a great relationship with yourself first, you cannot have a great relationship with anyone, ever.

    I teach relationship building because I have a passion to help others so they do not have to go through what I went through. I live those moments every single day but I do not live in them. I have learned to forgive myself and hope and pray that I am forgiven by those that I have hurt and truly love.

    Here is what I have learned.

    When you Learn the Be WUCA! Way, Act the Be WUCA! Way, you can then Teach the Be WUCA! Way.

    When you pass the Be WUCA! Way to others, you change the world building great relationships.

    Pass it on. 

    Rural Matters

    For the first time in the history of this country, rural counties have negative population growth, meaning more rural counties lost population than gained between 2010 and 2014. In many of these counties, this has been a trend for more than 100 years. 

    Roughly 46.2 million people, or 15 percent of the U.S. population, reside in rural counties, which spread across 72 percent of the nation's land area.  

    Fewer, larger farms are not contributing to population growth, nor is alternative energy, such as ethanol and wind. Wages are not equal to those in the metro areas.

    So why is this happening? Should rural communities give up? How can counties reverse the downward spiral?

    Ask these questions at home. At your board of supervisors/city council/economic development team/school board meetings. At the coffee shop. Ask them to people who do not participate in anything.

    • Are you talking about population decline? More importantly, what are you doing about it? About poverty rates?
    • Is your county still doing economic development the same way as it has for the last 100 years? Is the county getting the results you want?
    • How about attitudes? What is said of your county? What do you say about it? Your youth?
    • Do you have an entrepreneurial ecosystem in place, not just a class in school?
    • Are you discussing what is happening in your school district with the public? More student growth than can be handled? Whole-grade sharing, sharing sports, merger, consolidation?
    • Are you constantly looking for new people to engage and participate?
    • What’s happening with your hospital? Are you birthing babies? What is its stability to stay open?
    • How about housing? Are people just changing location or are new people coming to the area?
    • What about income opportunities? Not everyone is cut out to work for someone else. Is your county supportive of people starting their own businesses and will your community support them? Be sure to see the accompanying pyramid that paints the picture.
    • What is your county/ you doing to attract new people?

    Depending on the answers for your county, it may be time to think about changing up your approach to community growth to attract newcomers and move that people needle UP.

    This pyramid shows where new jobs are created, but the efforts of most economic development programs are geared to recruit “that” business to town so we can create “good” jobs. If we attract “that” business, it may be good for the county, but a loss for the community “that” business left. We’ve just shifted location, and perpetuated a win-lose game plan. Rural must work differently – together – to grow.

    Forward-thinking metro areas support rural development because, as people move to “the city,” the hollowing-out of surrounding communities will minimize potential employees in their current and future workforce pool. Young people have been moving to the metro areas for years, but with the decline in rural school populations, that source may dry up.

    Healthcare impacted

    Also affected by declining population, access to medical practitioners and facilities is crucial for Iowa’s aging rural population. In addition to healthcare itself, in many counties, the healthcare system is a major employer.

    Two summer articles from the National Conference of State legislatures, NCSL, brought sobering news for rural areas.

    The National Rural Health Association wanted to know where this trend of depopulation is heading. They teamed up with the Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina and iVantage, a health analytics firm. The goal was to identify rural hospital closures when they happen, collect a snapshot of how many rural hospitals are struggling, and where they are located.

    The research identifies 2,078 rural hospitals, of which, 1,284 are critical-access facilities. They found 210 were “most vulnerable,” meaning they could potentially close tomorrow. Another 463 were simply labeled as “at risk,” meaning they could close at any point in the next couple of years. Together, 32.3% of all rural hospitals in the U.S. are compromised.

    As more young people leave rural towns to go to work in the larger metro areas, we see the most vulnerable people, the elderly, being left without critical services where they live. Find the full article here http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-rural-hospitals-critical-condition.html.

    Birthing Specialists

    The second article is just as concerning for communities longing for young people starting families: medical professionals like OB/GYNs and nurse mid-wives are in short supply across the country. If your county doesn’t have specialists to deliver, are your general practitioners doing so? If travel is required for families to give birth, will the availability of a birthing facility impact their decision to live in your county? http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/08/15/a-shortage-in-the-nations-maternal-health-care

    So what is a county to do to keep going and growing?

    These recommendations will move you ahead.

    • Make sure you truly welcome and include all new people. Most communities want to grow, but often don’t want newcomers and their ideas, unless the new people think, look like, act, and believe like the community. States with the greatest percentage of population gain have a higher percentage of people who were NOT born in that state than people who were. Ask a newcomer – even someone who has lived in the community 20+ years - how they feel. You may be surprised at what you hear if their grandparents aren’t buried in the cemetery.
    • Much of rural Iowa has amazing telecommunications infrastructure, thanks to rural telephone company investments. New home-based businesses can move in. Companies can adopt telecommuting options, while communities and businesses create more family-friendly policies. Check with yours to see how to grow these options.
    • Capture the transfer of wealth, using it to build and support new enterprises and business succession.
    • Use social networking to build relationships with 30- to 49-year-olds who would love to live in safe communities and build a global business.
    • Consider and develop family-friendly policies in every discussion. Early care and education must be considered “critical infrastructure” that requires community and business investment to attract families and support workforce needs. 
    • Teach communities, businesses, families, organizations the art of value-based dialogue to move contentious issues forward.  
    • Develop entrepreneurial ecosystems to create an entrepreneurial environment.
    • Teach pertinent skills to 9 – 12th-grade students to connect school-to-workplace habits. Encourage students to see themselves as entrepreneurs who can build businesses in their home community.
    • One of your best youth retention strategies is to work very intentionally with your students labeled “at-risk,” as these young people have great, creative ideas to develop into solid businesses. They will likely attend community college, trade school, or jump right into your local workforce and lead your town serving on city council, church, and school boards. Connect with them now to be good leaders.
    • Create strong relationships to change the culture and dynamics between communities that may have been damaged by athletic competition, county charter arguments, and/or school mergers.

    If you look at these suggestions and say, “We are doing this,” but are still losing population and your poverty rate is stable or rising, think again.  The measures of improvement are a growing population, increased community engagement, a younger average age, and decreased poverty rates.

    You may have to work around the “good ‘ol boys” clubs or maybe you are a part of one. Decades-old methods of attraction no longer work. If still using them, you’re likely losing population, schools, hospitals, and youth.

    No more silos! Area leadership must work together to grow. County boards of supervisors, hospitals, schools, city councils, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, civic groups, community and private foundations – you know your community – will accomplish more, faster - when they work together.  If there’s a bold, new idea to try, do it!

    How are decisions made in your county? A community best-functions when all people get together to work on public problems. This creates wealth, where entrepreneurial opportunities are identified and developed for the good of the whole.

    You will know you are on the right track to be successful when you have:

    • collaborative leadership,
    • shared vision,
    • shared goals,
    • youth involvement,
    • a communication system to disperse community information and
    • all citizens see a role to engage.

    A Quick Tale of Two Cities

    Chappell, NE. Interchange on I-80 

    Chappell, NE. Interchange on I-80 

    Sidney, NE. Interchange on I-80

    Sidney, NE. Interchange on I-80

    Our work takes us across the country. Early in his career, Frank was the economic developer in western Nebraska, so we stopped en route to Colorado last summer, where we were the keynote for the Progressive 15 county economic developers’ meeting, and took these snapshots for the story of Cabela’s.

    From Cabela’s website: “In 1961, Dick Cabela came up with a plan to sell fishing flies he purchased while at a furniture show in Chicago. Upon returning home to Chappell, Nebraska, Dick ran a classified ad in the Casper, Wyoming, newspaper reading: "12 hand-tied flies for $1." It generated one response.

    “Undaunted, Dick formulated a new plan, rewriting the ad to read "FREE Introductory offer! 5 hand-tied flies....25c Postage....Handling" and placing it in national outdoor magazines. It didn't take long for the orders to begin arriving from sportsmen and women around the country.

    “In the beginning, Dick and his wife, Mary, ran the business from the kitchen table of their home in Chappell.“By 1964, continued success and growth demanded a bigger and better location. The operation was moved from their kitchen table to the basement of Dick and Jim's father's furniture store and then on to various buildings in Chappell. In 1969, Cabela's was operating in a 50,000 square-foot vacant John Deere building in neighboring downtown Sidney, Nebraska.”*

    *The missing piece of this story is that the city fathers of Chappell were approached for help into a bigger building as the business grew. The response given the Cabela’s? “No one helped us get started. Why should we help you?” 30 miles away, Sidney’s city fathers asked how they could help the company grow.

    Today, Cabela's world headquarters along Interstate 80 in Sidney encompasses more than 250,000 square feet. (The week this article was published, Cabela's announced their sale to Bass Pro for $5.5 Billion dollars. Not bad for a business starting in a basement.)

    Was this a missed opportunity? Maybe yes, maybe no. You decide. What steps are you taking to encourage your county to flourish?

    Global Horizons has a plan to recruit people to live, work, and play in your communities. 

    Editors note: This article was published in the October 2016 issue of the Iowa State Association of Counties "Iowa County" magazine. http://www.iowacounties.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/67764_IACty-October2016_SP_OPT.pdf

     

    Fund Early Care and Education for a Better Workforce

    Why should businesses, communities, and states be concerned about creating family-friendly policies for their workforce and citizens?

    • Communities are concerned with keeping their youth and attracting young people and families to live, work, and play.
    • Communities across the country are pursuing the same families, so special attention is needed to stand above the rest.
    • U.S. companies lose $3 BILLION annually as a consequence of childcare-related absences and 85% of employers report providing childcare services improves employee recruitment. 

    Here's how: inject money into making sure yours is a Be WUCA! family-friendly business and community with a quality, fully-funded early care and education environment. Every decision your community makes, asks: "how will this decision affect children?" Look at all your policies and ask if they are family-friendly. 

    Issues with childcare often affect the job performance of working parents by increasing absenteeism, tardiness, turnover rates, recruitment, and training costs. In turn, these issues affect productivity and work quality and, ultimately, the competitiveness of the businesses that employ these workers.

    An average business with 250 employees can save $75,000 per year in lost work time by subsidizing care for employees' sick children. Employers surveyed report that childcare services decrease employee absences by 20-30 percent and reduce turnover by 37-60 percent. If it's your own business, it impacts your bottom line.

    Research shows that work-family benefits have a direct impact on employee recruitment and retention. For example, a small textile manufacturing company in the Southwest experienced a 40 percent turnover rate that dramatically dropped to seven percent after beginning a childcare program.

    It's critical employers attract and retain good, productive workers to stay competitive in the market. Given the changing composition of America’s labor force and the impact childcare has on worker productivity, businesses with employer-assisted childcare implement a cost-effective way to control labor costs, enhance worker productivity, and engage your workforce. Employees will be loyal to and productive for a company who helps care for their children!

    Investing when the brain is developing is good policy.

    The following chart shows the relationship of brain development to public expenditures.

    The brain develops 80% by the age of three and 90% by school age. In fact, the brain is connecting new neurons in the first 2000 days of a child's life at a rate of 700 connections per second. Every connection is a thought, belief, or a new learned experience. These first 2000 days are when school and work habits are being formed. We need to spend dollars when they will do the most good. 

    Think back to your first thought. How old were you when you have your first memory? For most, our first memories average at three or four years old. As that is true, what is being taught to children during this critical phase of lifetime brain development is crucial to a child's - and society's - welfare.

    But, as the diagram shows, public expenditures increase in the preschool and kindergarten years when a child begins school, near the end of early significant brain connections. In fact, the Federal Reserve has documented that for every $1 invested in early care and education, communities save between $4 - $14 in future costs of remedial and special education, the juvenile crime system, and welfare support.

    The labor market today and into the foreseeable future is radically different than it used to be. New jobs that we will need have not even been thought of or invented. The old problem of finding enough work for rising numbers of workers is replaced by the new problem of locating enough workers to fill new jobs requiring technical skills generated by an expanding economy. 

    Every experience we have had shapes who we are, including our school and work habits. Good early care and education is critical to the students and workers of the future. 

    When you invest in and create a family-friendly WUCA! community with a quality, fully-funded early care and education environment, families will look for you and choose your community to call home.

    When you implement these recommendations in your community and state, you will stand above the rest and grow! 

     How does this decision affect children? Is it FAMILY-FRIENDLY?

    Rural HealthCare in Crisis

    For the first time in the history of this country, rural counties have negative population growth, meaning more rural counties lost population than gained between 2010 and 2014. But you are not hearing about the critical issues in the election process, what this loss of population to rural areas is doing. 

    In many of these counties, this has been a trend for more than 100 years. If you live in a rural community, you just might be in crisis due to your economic development efforts.

    Rural economic development efforts often bring to mind Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Doing the same things, in the same way, expecting different results!” Rural areas must change up their approach – and acceptance - to attract newcomers.

    Is your community still doing economic development the same way as you have been for the last 100 years? Are you getting the results you want?

    How Jobs are Created.jpg

     

    This pyramid shows where new jobs are created, but the efforts of most economic development programs are geared to recruit “that” business to town so we can create “good” jobs. If we attract “that” business, it may be good for the community, but a loss for the community “that” business left. We’ve just shifted location, and perpetuated a win-lose game plan. Rural must work differently – and together – to grow.

    Healthcare impacted

    The National Rural Health Association wanted to know where this trend is heading. They teamed up with the Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina and iVantage, a health analytics firm. The goal was to identify rural hospital closures when they happen, collect a snapshot of how many rural hospitals are struggling, and where they are located.

    The research identifies 2,078 rural hospitals, of which, 1,284 are critical-access facilities. They found 210 were “most vulnerable,” meaning they could potentially close tomorrow. Another 463 were simply labeled as “at risk,” meaning they could close at any point in the next couple of years. Together, 52.4% of all rural critical-access hospitals in the U.S. are compromised.

    As more young people leave rural towns to go to work in the larger metro areas, we see the most vulnerable people, the elderly, being left without critical services where they live.

    Hospitals, schools, foundations, and businesses need to be involved and turn this around with relationship economic development.

    Relationship economic development is all about getting people and communities to learn how to build relationships with each other. Communities need to let go of past hurts of school mergers, county-seat struggles, where the railroad went, and unhealthy athletic rivalries.

    http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-communty

    Relationship economic development consists of three learning steps:

    • Relationship development - Common knowledge
    • Community development - Common interests
    • Wealth creation - Common work

    Forward-thinking metro areas support rural development because, as people move to the metro, the hollowing-out of surrounding communities will minimize potential employees in their current and future workforce pool. Young people have been moving to the metro areas for many years, but with the decline in school populations, that source will soon dry up.

    Want to grow your rural area and keep hospitals, schools, services strong? Check these:

    • You may have to work around the “good ‘ol boys” clubs and ideas. Decades-old methods of attraction worked then, but, if still used, you’re likely losing population, schools, hospitals, and youth.
    • Do you truly welcome new people? Most communities want to grow, but often citizens are hesitant to welcome newcomers and their ideas, unless new people think, look like, act, and believe like the community.  
    • Declining population can bring decline in housing options. Buyers are more choosy these days, and homes are not always equipped or updated. Communities are smart to address this trend to remain in the running for new owners.
    • Area leadership must work together to grow. Hospitals, schools, city councils, county commissions, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, civic groups, community and private foundations – you know your community - are best together.
    • There is the opportunity to build through the telecommunications infrastructure in some rural areas. New home-based businesses can move in. Companies can adopt telecommuting policies and communities and companies can adopt more family-friendly policies.
    • Early care and education must be considered “critical infrastructure” that requires community and business investment to attract families and support workforce needs. 

    Relationship economic development will help your community/organization:

    • prepare for newcomers, 
    • learn skills to talk through, not just about, community issues that positively guide the future,
    • learn more about their own area - how each community is unique and complements one another,
    • learn how to encourage & support entrepreneurs,
    • identify, invite, and welcome those from around the globe who want to live in rural areas,
    • grow populations and business sectors.

    Global Horizons, LLC is an experienced company with a plan and processes to grow communities by building healthy relationships: http://www.bewuca.com/blog/relationship-economic-development-wuca-ize-your-communty

    Ready for a better way to build wealth and healthy relationships to change your community's future? We know how and would like to visit with you!

    What Will You Become?

         Keep in mind this fact, only four percent of what you do is a conscious thought, which means 96 percent of your actions and your beliefs and what you do is subconscious because you have programmed yourself so well. How many communities, organizations, churches or workplaces are just like this! Just because someone has different thoughts or they look different, people automatically react to them in a negative way. 

         How many of you grew up and said, “I'm not going to be like my mother?” How many of you are just like your mother, as in this story? 

    WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT THIS WAY!

          A mother and daughter were preparing a roast for a family dinner. The daughter cut the ends off of the roast before putting it in the roaster, just as she was taught. She asked her mother, “why do we cut the ends off of the roast before we cook it?” “I am not sure,” said the mother. “I guess it makes it taste better, but let’s go ask grandma.”

          So they went to ask Grandma. “Grandma?” asked the mother. “Why did you teach me to cut the ends off of the roast before cooking it?”

          "Because it makes the roast taste better,” responded Grandma. “Besides, that is the way my mother taught me. Let’s go ask her.”

          So the three of them went to the person who started the tradition of cutting of the ends off of the roast.

          “Great-Grandmother why do you cut the ends off of the roast before you cook it? Does it make the roast taste better?”

          “Heavens no,” said Great-Grandmother. “I cut the ends off of the end of the roast because that is the only way I could get it to fit into the pan I used.”

          Sometimes it’s helpful to look at the history of why we do things. Is it really necessary to continue some of the things we do or do we do them just because we are comfortable doing it that way? Do we do things just because we have always done it that way before.

          When you keep doing the things to get what you get, you keep getting the things you always got.

          You can change without improving, but you cannot improve without changing.

          Do you know anyone who has changed their life because of the intentional choices they’ve made contrary to their upbringing or circumstances?  On rare occasions, we see someone break out because of a certain talent they have, or they want their life to be different than how they grew up. They say, “Absolutely not!  I'm going to change my environment and I'm going to change the way I act to my environment. I’m outta here to find a new way to live!”

          Maybe it’s you. You want more. You want different than you are living. It takes conscious thought and commitment to change a view of the world. It requires constant, diligent, it’s-in-your-heart-and-gut passion to change.

          The biggest gap in growth is the gap between knowing and doing. In other words, you cannot grow if you do not do something toward growing. To discover the path in front of you, you have to start moving.

          Just as Martin Luther King said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

           

    Global Horizons - On the Leading Edge of Thought

    Community Engagement Institute

    Combating Democracy's Problems

    Learning from each other combats democracy’s problems. Many times, citizens are sidelined because they don’t think that they can make a difference. Wicked issues are framed in ways that promote divisiveness and not all options for solving them are considered. Democracies depend on constant collective learning and a system to promote dialogue.

    The result is a lack of people participating in the decision making process or the perception that "the end is already decided, so why bother?" Decisions are often made by a small group or hastily without giving the public the opportunity to be able to reach shared or reflective judgment.

    Communities and public institutions are facing daunting problems that can best be solved if all citizens are given the space to work together to produce common ground on the things upon which they do not agree. Traditional ways that communities go about solving problems may limit citizen participation. When people disagree about what to do, it prevents them from joining forces.

    Political institutions’ efforts to organize citizens can backfire by draining away the vital energy that people bring. The mutual distrust between citizens and many political institutions has been quite acute for decades. Citizens see politicians as unresponsive as well as ineffective, and the political environment doubts that the general citizen is responsible and capable to make informed choices.

     The Institute teaches how to create space for citizens to work together by following these steps:

     ·         Identify or name the issue in their own terms of what is most valuable to them.

    ·         Frame the issues so that a range of actions are considered and the trade-offs required are evident.

    ·         Make deliberative decisions weighing the trade-offs, to turn hasty reactions into sound judgment.

    ·         Identify resources that are available, even intangible ones like enthusiasm and commitment.

    ·         Organize actions in ways that builds upon the common ground and helps the other become better.

    Asking questions in a different way can help open up the values of certain positions.

    Questions such as:

    ·         How does this problem affect you and your family?

    ·         What do you think is the right thing to do?

    ·         What might be the consequences, both positive and negative?

    ·         What are our options?

    ·         Who else do we need to solve the problem?

    ·         What resources could we use?

    ·         Can we support one another?

    ·         What are we learning?

    When you set up the process to allow citizen participation, great things happen. People actually get along. They come up with wonderful solutions that, when they come together, are better than any previously proposed.

    This Year, Write a Living Eulogy to Someone You Appreciate

    This is the time of year to change. Do not be held back by grudges, anger, and hate. Write a living eulogy to three people, someone you appreciate (they might be gone soon), someone that has done you wrong (let it go), and yourself (you have to love and appreciate yourself you can expect others to love and appreciate you).

    We've seen many people post what they are thankful for during a specific month, but forgiving others and yourself is a great habit to do all year! We want to share The Be WUCA! Way to express appreciation and forgiveness of others in a unique and lasting way: write a eulogy for a living person. This exercise is a way to appreciate, but also can be a way to forgive. Let another living person know just what they mean to the world in a Be WUCA! Way.

    1)   Ask: who do you need to forgive?

    • A person you love and respect? 
    • A person who has done you wrong? 
    • You?

    2)   Think about what you'd put in a letter in high praise of a person. A testament to a person's life. Usually given at a person's funeral or memorial service, that person will never hear all the good things being said - why wait? Tell them now. 

    What about writing to a living person who has wronged you in some way that you need to forgive? Maybe you don't need to deliver it to them, but would it feel good to get those emotions out of you?

    The most touching and meaningful eulogies are written from the heart - it doesn't have to be perfect. Whatever you write will be appreciated. Writing a eulogy is truly an honor for a person - your words will paint a picture through the memories, anecdotes, and stories you tell of their impact on Earth.

    3)   Gather information. Here are some ideas to get you started:

    • a condensed life history of the person.
    • details about family, friends, work/career, interests, and achievements.
    • favorite memories.
    • favorite poems, songs, quotes, or religious writings.
    • recall your own memories.
    • tell who they are, what they do, and what they enjoy about life.

    Think about the person and the relationship you have with them. Where you met (if you're not family), things you do together, humorous or touching memories, and what you would miss the most might be things you decide to share.

    Be sure to get memories from others!

    Talk with family members, close friends, and co-workers to gather valuable items. Other information you can include:

    • Person’s age/date of birth
    • Family and other close relationships
    • Education/work/career
    • Hobbies or special interests
    • Places the person lived
    • Special accomplishments

    4)   Organize.

    Organize notes and drafts on a computer program, plain paper, or note cards - whatever method is most comfortable and familiar to you.

    You decide the tone. Some  prefer serious, while others may want to keep the tone light. A mix of both elements, solemnity and humor, is usually best to allow the receiver to share in the celebration of a life. Their life.

    5)   Write.

    Write in your own voice - the same way you would normally talk.

    Don't get bogged down by the formalities of writing. Your reader will want to feel like you are talking to them from your heart, not from a script.

    6)   Deliver.

    Depending on the type of eulogy you've written, you can give it to the person about whom you've written and touch them in a very Be WUCA! Way. If you've written to someone who has wronged you, you know the circumstances and whether it's wise to deliver the writing. If not advisable, you can store or destroy the document and feel good you've let go of feelings that may have been gripping you tightly to now move forward. 

    Each day, express appreciation for the living as your highest priority. One day, the person you appreciate won't be there. 

    Take your chance. Do it now!!

    Global Horizons - On the Leading Edge of Thought

    Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie Interview

    Global Horizons was honored to be  interviewed by radio host Michael Libbie of Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie. The only business broadcast in the Des Moines, Iowa Metro, the Business Hour is a production of Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications a full-service advertising agency based in Des Moines. 

    It's called "The Be WUCA! Way, the "ART of getting along." With us are Frank and Kimberlee Spillers from Global Horizons who explain why businesses should Welcome, Understand, Comfort and Appreciate their employees to have a better-engaged workforce.

     

     

    Student Success is Good for the Workforce

    We met Brittany as a sophomore in 2008 when we began teaching Coaching in the Classroom.

    A young woman from a hard-working family facing some challenges, Brittany, in this phase of her life, was a free spirit in search of herself. Not following any one “look,” she colored her hair and wore a variety of clothing to express herself. Academically, she had passed few classes and accumulated few credits toward graduation. Her future looked pretty dim unless she made changes in her life.

    We could see she was smart. Very smart. Capable. Very kind to a great many people, especially those she let into her trust. What she lacked was belief in herself and a support system to encourage her intelligence and skills. Her circle of friends tended to be students from similar backgrounds for mutual support – and not always good choices.

    During the course of the next three years, we worked closely with Brittany at school, on Facebook, in phone conversations, and many, many texts. We talked through drama. We talked through friendships and how associations affect a person and their decisions. We talked about her family and what she was dealing with at home. We advised her what we told the classes – that sometimes you have to leave behind the life you know to have the life you want. Sometimes figuratively. Sometimes literally.

    As her time with us progressed and she matured, Brittany heard the message of WUCA!

    She shifted her shocking hair colors in favor of highlighting to bright shades to show her individuality.

    She heard and chose the message of C + A = R.

    She heard the message of understanding the viewpoints of others, asking bright, thoughtful, curious, intuitive questions.

    She heard the message of identifying her passions and setting goals.

    She heard the message of changing the way she looks at life.

    Most importantly, she chose to act on what she heard.

    Through extremely hard work, dedication, taking extra classes, getting extra help from teachers, choosing different friends or, a lot of time, choosing to be alone, Brittany chose to turn around her circumstances and act differently to gain the result she desired.

    She was one of 12 high school students to participate in a deliberative dialogue on America’s Role in the World. Her comments were included in a report and video shared at the 50th anniversary of the Dartmouth Conference on U.S./Russia relations in 2010 in Washington, D.C.

    She graduated on time, with her class. We were there to celebrate with her and her family. And we’re still celebrating.

    Now in her early 20s, Brittany has gone on to college – the first in her family to do so. And she has a 3.5 GPA.

    That’s choosing your direction.

    That’s leaving the past to press on to the future.

    That’s realizing your value.

    That’s a star.

    That’s the power of WUCA!

    Relationship Economic Development - WUCA!-ize Your Community

    Relationship Economic Development is an exciting grassroots movement that begins when the whole community learns and implements new ways of relating to the community and each other. 

    Relationship economic development is more than just creating jobs - it's about creating  a wealth environment where businesses, which create jobs, and people, who create quality of life, can thrive. It is about creating a WUCA!-ized community where people feel part of their future because people WELCOME, UNDERSTAND, COMFORT, AND APPRECIATE themselves and each other.

    Most communities want to grow but they are not getting ready to accept new people. They tend to want people who look like them, act like them, and have the same ideas as the leadership in the community.

    Creation of a WUCA!-ized community is very much a bottom-up approach that begins with leadership. Developing leaders starts with common knowledge and common language. Learning that how you talk, act, and think as a community, creates the culture of the community. 

    The next element is developing internally, looking inward at how are decisions made and what is the perception of other people. Creating a common interest in how to identify and address issues that effect the whole community. What matters is bringing community together so that the public is involved and feels engaged in the solutions and not just have “politics as usual," or ideas that come from a few "good ol' boys." In fact, the good ol' boy’s club will likely try its best to control and manipulate development for their own purpose.

    Wealth Creation Pyramid

    See the steps to take to build wealth

    in America's Rural Communities

    “Politics as usual” is just another name for conventional politics – good ol' boys, special interest groups, lobbying.  In “politics as usual,” communities try to address major problems by breaking the problem down to a manageable form, finding plausible solutions, developing the proper strategy, delegating responsibility to an accountable institution, getting busy with visible activity and "selling" the public on what the leadership has decided is best.

    In a WUCA!-ized community, all people get together to work on public problems. It all leads to the creation of wealth, where entrepreneurial opportunities are identified and developed for the good of the whole community.

    Reality for Rural Areas

    • Declining populations equals increasing costs to our counties.
    • Increasing free & reduced need for our students, with fewer overall students, equals increased student/family services and higher school costs, raising a major strain on every community’s health and viability.  
    • Need to grow broadband and educate the public on its multiple uses for business and community growth.

    Solution for Rural Areas - Use Relationship Economic Development to repopulate rural America through technology.  

    Multi-Year, Multi-Prong, Concurrent Approach   

    1.      Prepare communities how to engage newcomers and the ideas, culture, and ways of life they bring. Engaging and training communities in creating a welcoming environment is key to implementation. 

    1.      Identify and recruit people globally in the 30 – 49- age range, who have or want to start Internet-based businesses. This age group is looking for the environment of our rural communities in great schools, affordable housing, clean air, clean water, safety, and a huge emphasis on connectivity to technology and the Internet, to name a few top issues. Research shows when this age group grows, so does the range of children 10 – 14 years of age.

    This process relies heavily on the incredible network and investments made by rural telephone companies conducive for telecommuters and entrepreneurs. 

    For example, in Cass County, Iowa, because of training received through a well-used, successful engagement process called Community Builders we will use in this pilot project, a family moved from western Massachusetts to Cumberland, IA, a town of 257. Because community participants knew about the excellent Internet infrastructure of their rural telephone companies, they could confidently talk with this family about the availability of needed Internet service that enjoys the connectivity of Los Angeles or New York.

    Initially pursuing a place they could hobby farm, the Dad travels the world, working remotely for an IT company as a coder, serves on the city council, and is raising chickens – his dream.

    How to do this

    Work your way up the Wealth Creation Pyramid and engage each of the four workforce engagement hubs from Global Horizons’ It Takes a Village to Engage a Workforce model.

    Leadership Development    Internal Development    Wealth Creation

    •  Train communities to support entrepreneurship and teach students entrepreneurship skills – we have a blueprint and initial experience through our Coaching in the Classroom process. By teaching pertinent skills to 9 – 12th-grade students for three years that connected school to workplace habits, their “at-risk” percentage decreased from 41% to 12%.
    • Implement the Community Builders process – in one five-county area, this process created about 250 new jobs in a three-year period. 
    • Create strong relationships and change the culture and dynamics between communities that may have been damaged by athletic competition, county charter arguments, and/or school mergers.
    • Teach communities, businesses, families, organizations the art of value-based dialogue to move contentious issues forward.  
    • Create systems to use social networking to build relationships with 30 – 49-year-olds who would love to live in safe communities and build a global business.
    • Capture the transfer of wealth, using it to build and support new enterprises. 

    Where  

    A minimum three-year commitment to determine real results. The locations require solid support from telephone companies, utilities, government, and school districts wanting to expand their customer/student base and welcome new home-based and Main Street businesses within and around their service area communities.

    Some of many benefits

    • ROI for utility/city/county infrastructure investment
    • Grow schools
    • Encourage home-based businesses
    • Fill homes
    • Invigorate pride and community sense of self
    • Increase Main Street storefronts 

    This a great, feasible idea

    We are absolutely, completely, confident that this does work but it will require commitment and effort on the part of all to welcome newcomers. People and families are searching for safe and viable communities to call home and rural America has what they seek.

    WUCA!-ize your community, business, or organization with these steps

    Communities that want to grow need to create Be WUCA! opportunities - and individuals need to step up - and become involved!

    Make WUCA!-izing your community your responsibility. Take the first steps now- you don't have to see the whole staircase!

    Global Horizons. On the leading edge of thought!