Making a Difference in Your Community
In making a difference in your community essay the theme of human impact of their community and vice versa is discussed. Change means, “make or become different” or “the act or instance of making or becoming different”. Change is the one of certainly thing. It can only be predicted through analyses the trends. No one knows when the exact time it will be happened. It can be happened anytime, anywhere, and to anything. Change can be found on the form, nature, and content of something. Change can happen naturally or artificially. Both of ways, have differences effect to result and time. In many cases of natural change, such as in ecosystem, it’s happened slowly but produce stable result with long-term impact. In other case, artificial change, such as made in laboratory, time of changing can be set and produce an instant result with the short-term impact. Change can have many forms and ways to make things become different.
All things in the universe can change, including people, communities where people live and the organization where they belongs to. The purposes of change is to find a balance between values (such as vision) with current needs. The following below, will be described change in people, community and organization.
There are lots of definition for people. People are defined as human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest . People are also defined as human beings in general or considered collectively, the members of a particular nation, community, or ethnic group, the supporters . The other definition, define people as the entire body of persons who constitute a community or other group by virtue of a common culture, history, etc. In general people are human beings living together with a common culture and interest.
People are unique living beings. They are organized by brain to think, soul to feel and physic to act.. People experience has differences on how they are using their brain, soul and body. Gender, age, culture, personal life experiences and the environment makes human act and react differently and shape individual willingness, motives, needs and goals. So, we will find more than one individual of people has the same goal but with different motives and willingness. Some of other has the same needs but with different goal. And there are still number of combination between two or more individual. People with all these different factors is so complex. Specifically, when they group in community and organization.
In the process of human growth, there is a group of internal drives that will lead them to change. The inner support is dreams, hopes, desires and willingness to act. Other internal factors that also cause people to change are knowledge, beliefs, and skills. Apart from internal factor, there are external factor that influence people’s change, such as their culture, norms, and environment. Both, Internal and external factor, will form an integrated system on how people change. For example, people change their decision about elections after big sentiment messages on social media overwhelm them emotionally. How much these factors change people depends on how far they believe it will support to achieve their vision.
Other important factor that will affect change in people is their characteristic. There are various characteristics that define a person. Some characteristic categories are introvert-extrovert, choleric-sanguine-melancholic-phlegmatic etc. These characters can help them to adapt. Extroverts can often adapt faster than introverts because they are open to anyone and that makes them get more information from others. Sometimes introverts can understand more than extroverts because they listen more than they talk. As long as introverts can find the right person to help them, they can adapt as quickly as extroverts. When someone knows how to use group characteristics, they will have the opportunity to learn and grow well in their community to become leaders, influencers, innovators etc. When people know their character very well, they can use to find the best way to grow their potential. For example, when someone already knows his character and his current potential as extrovert combined with his choleric character, he can communicate his vision or issue to other. Through this communication, he will get a lot of input and ideas. Also, he may have the opportunities to get lots rich stories from experienced people to achieve results faster and better than previous person with the same issue. He can learn faster than most people
People are one of component of a community whether it’s an informal or formal organization. So, changes in people can be a major factor affecting change directly to society.
Community defined as a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common , the people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interests, social group, or nationality , a unified body of individuals: such as the people with common interests living in a particular area broadly , etc. Based on these definition we can see a strong correlation between community and people that people are a part of the community.
As mentioned above, people are a part of the community, change on people may affect to community change. The human population in a community almost changes every year. It caused by new birth, death, and/or migration. This population change causes the composition of members in society to be different from previous composition. This new composition forms a new generation with different characteristics. New generation with new characteristic will take community into different era. How they see and manage their community can be different from the previous generation, can be better or worse. Regeneration in community is a part of community life cycle. So, community will always change from generation to generation.
Other factor that influence community are the natural and social environment. The natural environment can change without human involvement, such as changing seasons, climate change, etc. Communities must be able to adapt or change their habits to these changes to make themselves feel comfortable and safe in all situations. Besides the natural environment, namely social environment such as government regulations, social-economic condition, the political situation and technology also affect change in society. All these factors are external parts of community that will encourage them to change.
Since community consisted of lots of people, they create collective knowledge and wisdom. These can be used to manage and grow community assets, minimize weakness, optimize opportunity, tackle challenge and threat. In other words, community can use both knowledge and wisdom to change themselves to achieve common goals by optimizing their community assets.
Together they can build communities into good change by cross learning among themselves or with other community, or with help of a community development expert. Through learning process, they can identify and map their own problems and needs and design an integrated programs to solve problems and meet the needs. After they design a community program, they can begin to organize and implement their plan together. By implementing the program they have planned, they can increase community knowledge, skills, attitudes, and aspirations. These changes can be solved and decrease their problems such as poverty, health issue, low education and even disaster may happened in their area.
The quality of change in community will be depend to quality of people in its society. The better they are, the better the community change.
Organization is not something different and separate from people or communities. Organization and community, both of which consist of people with same goal to achieve. Organization will be existed when two or more people with the same objective are working together to achieve it. So, community is one of form of organization.
Organization have structure with clear division of authority and responsibility. This structure can be small or large, simple or complex. When large structure with more people involved in organization, the system and process getting complex. The complexity of organization increases align with their resource’s growth. When organization grows to achieve greater goals, it will need more resources such as people or worker, systems, infrastructure and money. Specifically in people number, more people involved in organization, more complex system to manage and infrastructure to support them. Simplicity or complexity of organization is a choice, but it is important to be a consideration so that remains optimal to achieve their vision.
Like a living things, organization also has a life cycle. This life cycle will define where the current stage of organization relative to time, whether its courtship, infant, go-go, adolescence, prime, maturity (stable), aristocracy, early bureaucracy, bureaucracy or death. These life cycle stages address the organization takes the right action to live in long term life. The age of organization depends on how the organization knowing their stage and risks are faced on each stage. So, they are able to live to manage resources and avoid or minimize the risks and live in long term period.
Organizations growth affected by community growth, whether it is a community in a region, institution, group or other forms. All community, included community in developed country or region, always changing to achieve what they want to achieve. People as member of community never feel satisfied to what already they have or achieved, they will try to get something they want greater, faster and better than previous. This is challenging for organization such as government, corporation or foundation to meet the needs and satisfied them with their service and product. If not, they will fee unsatisfied and affect to organization’ goal achievement. Since organization exist to meet the needs of community, they become an important customer and stakeholder to be considered and listened.
Organization must know their target customer, how is their characteristic, needs and values, and behavior. Once they know their target customer, they will focus to serve them. But, before they serve the customer, they need to know about their target customer’s characteristic and behavior. By knowing their characteristic and behavior, organization can define and design the best method to deliver their service and product. Also, organization needs to understand the customer needs and values, such as what fundamental belief or practice about what is desirable, worthwhile and important for them. That’s why, organization needs to know who their customer in effort to matching their values with customer’s values and needs through their product and services without violating organization values. When they found gaps between their value and need with customer’s values and needs, they need to change, whether it on their product, services or strategy to deliver their values.
There are certain factors, besides matching values to customer, which encourage organization to change, can be internally or externally. Internal factor is top level management structure change which impact the policy and system. External factors which influence the organization change are more complex. These factors are politic, economic, social, technology, environment and legal. Specifically for non-government organization, there are lots of stakeholders with different role affect them, such as regulator, competitor, donor agency, vendor, etc. They have their own regulation and interest to be obey by their partner. To each organization’s external factors, they has limited power to influence it, so that they need to have adaption ability to change smoothly and keep the organization able to reach their vision. The organization also can be involved actively to influence national and global policy, so they will be not impacted negatively.
Since there are lots factors influence organization’s change, they need to have enough ability and flexibility to be ready facing and tackling all challenges. In order to have effective change process, there some steps. The first step, organization need to understand very well their vision, in order to define and set the long term, midterm or short-term goal, roadmap, and strategy. The second step, identify their potential and weakness to measure their ability and resources to achieve the goal. The third step, designing plans, including alternative plans which can be used when the ideal situation cannot be met. The fourth step, communicate their vision, mission, potentials and problems and plan to all member of organization regularly. The last one, practice and learn together to communicate each plan and its implementation. So that, all member in organization will be ready whenever a change comes.
An organization can learn together internally to prepare for changes. They can also learn from other organizations with comparative study. Or asking consultants or some expert to facilitate them ongoing process of changes.
Change in people, community and organization affected by similar factors. These factor can be exist in internal or external system of people, community or organization as an entity. Change in people, community or organization has the similar characteristic and pattern.
The quality of change, both in community and organization depend on the quality of people as part of the main resource. Motivation to change must begin within a person, community, or organization. This is to build ownership in each of them and produce a sustainable impact.
In order to deal with change well, people, community or organization can do it, both by learning together, learning from others through cross-learning or comparative study. Asking consultants or experts can be another alternative solution for them to face and overcome the change.