Last month, I saw this article shared by a friend on Facebook, and its title grabbed me: “Most Public Engagement is Worthless.” It’s a pretty bold statement, and I was inclined to read. The piece, by Charles Marohn of the organization Strong Towns, discusses the process of helping people to improve their own locale by realizing solutions to their needs. Marohn writes about focus groups and about how questions are framed, then toward the end, he provides this brief to-do list:
1. Humbly observe where people in the community struggle.
2. Ask the question: What is the next smallest thing we can do right now to address that struggle?
3. Do that thing. Do it right now.