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Community: The Structure of Belonging (book summary) by Mind Map: Community: The Structure of Belonging  (book summary)
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Community: The Structure of Belonging (book summary)

6. The Questions

The five conversations for structuring belonging are possibility, ownership, dissent, commitment, and gifts.

Since all the conversations lead to each other, sequence is not that critical.

Create conversations in ascending order of difficulty, with the possibility generally an earlier conversation and gifts typically one of the more difficult.

There are three elements of a question:

7. The Invitation

Invite people who are not used to being together.

The elements of the powerful invitation

1. Overall Premise

Build the social fabric and transform the isolation within our communities into connectedness and caring for the whole

Shift our conversations from the problems of community to the possibility of community.

Commit to create a future distinct from the past

2. Operating Guidelines

Social fabric is created one room at a time, the one we are in at the moment.

It is formed out of the questions "Whom do we want in the room?" and "What is the conversation that we want to occur"

The key to a new future is to focus on gifts, on associational life, and on the insight that all transformation occurs through language.

Each step has to embody a quality of aliveness, and strategy evolves in an organic way.

The essence of creating an alternative future comes from citizen-to-citizen engagement that constantly focuses on the well-being of the whole.

We have all the capacity, expertise, and financial resources that an alternative future requires.

The small group is the unit of transformation and the container for the experience of belonging.

4. The context for a restorative community

The existing community context is one that markets fear, assigns fault, and worships self-interest.

The new context that restores community is one of possibility, generosity, and gifts, rather than one of fear, mistakes, and self-interest.

The existing context supports the belief that the future will be improved with new laws, more oversight, and stronger leadership.

Citizens become powerful when they choose to shift the context within which they act in the world.

Communities are human systems given form by conversations that build relatedness.

The conversations that build relatedness most often occur through associational life, where citizens are unpaid and show up by choice, rather than in large systems where professionals are paid and show up by contractual agreement.

The future hinges on accountability that citizens choose and their willingness to connect with each other around promises they make to each other.

Citizens have the capacity to own and exercise power rather than defer or delegate it to others.

8. The Inversion of Cause and Accountability

We reclaim our citizenship when we invert what is cause and what is effect.

Citizens create leaders, children create parents, and audience creates the performance. This inversion may not be the whole truth, but it is useful.

The inversion creates conditions where we can shift from

11. Leadership and Transformation

Leadership that engages citizens is a capacity that exists in all human beings. It is infinitely and universally available.

Transformation occurs when leaders focus on the structure of how we gather and the context in which the gatherings take place.

Leadership is convening and held to three tasks;

3. The Power of the Small Group

Each gathering needs to become an example of the future we want to create.

The small group is the unit of transformation

Large-scale transformation occurs when enough small groups shift in harmony toward the larger change.

Small groups have the most leverage when they meet as part of a larger gathering.

The small group produces power when diversity of thinking and dissent are given space, commitments are made without barter, and the gifts of each person and our community are acknowledged and valued.

5. Questions are more transforming than answers

The skill is getting the questions right

The traditional conversations that seek to explain, study, analyze, define tools, and express the desire to change others are interesting but not powerful.

Questions open the door to the future and are more powerful than answers in that they demand engagement. Engagement in the right questions is what creates accountability.

How we frame the questions is decisive. They need to be ambiguous, personal, and stressful.

Introduce the questions by defining the distinction the question addresses, namely what is different and unique about this conversation.

We need to innoculate people against advice and help. Advice is replaced by curiousity.

9. The conversations

The possibility conversation

The ownership conversation

The dissent conversation

The commitment conversation

The gifts conversation

Final comment

10. Designing physical space that supports community.

Physical space is more decisive in creating community than we realize.

Most meeting spaces are designed for control, negotiation, and persuasion.

We always have a choice about how we rearrange and occupy whatever room we are handed.

Community is built when we sit in circles, when there are windows and the walls have signs of life, when every voice can be equally heard and amplified, when we all are one level--and the chairs have wheels and swivel.

When we have the opportunity to design new space, we need the following:

The design process itself needs to be an example of the future we are intending to create.

Authentic citizen and employee engagement is as important as good design expertise.