Circles of Change:Conversations with Dr. Zara Larsen on Change Leadership and Career Fulfillment
May 28, 2008
“A Blueprint for Change”
Guest:Larry Hecker, Chairman of the Economic Blueprint Steering Committee
Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities
ØThe long-term objective of the Economic Blueprint project is to create a more diversified, stable and sustainable economy providing prosperity and opportunity for all Tucsonans.
ØThe Blueprint is a written manual for achieving this objective.It sets forth specific community actions, initiatives and strategies.
ØThe Blueprint acknowledges Tucson’s tremendous potential and multiple resources that give it a huge competitive advantage in creating a knowledge-based economy that provides high wage-high skill jobs to a broad base.
ØThe 46-member Steering Committee initially undertook a “SWOT” analysis to better understand Southern Arizona’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
ØWe didn’t rely on our own opinions; we undertook a broad-based and inclusive survey of the community.In face-to-face meetings, online surveys, forums and town halls, we solicited input on what Tucsonan’s see as their aspirations and hopes for the future.Ultimately, we received input from over 6,000 people.
ØWhat was most encouraging was that most people looked past their own parochial concerns and focused on the needs of the broader good.The importance of a revitalized Downtown is a prime example.Most people understand and support the need to create an active and vibrant urban center.Downtown can be the heart and soul of the community; while recognizing the importance of individualized communities and constituencies.
ØFrom this input, the “Power of Five” plan was developed:
oCollaborative Governance and Stewardship
ØCollaboration, inclusion, participation and understanding have been the cornerstones of several recent community successes.The 2004 Bond Election, the 2006 regional transportation vote and the growing sense of “regionalism” are examples of the new paradigm of community consensus.
ØThe process was built on the premise that good leaders are good listeners.They are open-minded to alternative solutions to a common problem and aren’t hung up on dogma or precondition.
ØWe’ve learned that by respecting each other’s views, listening to their desires, weighing alternative solutions and compromising, we can achieve a stronger sense of community and mission.
ØAs important as the Blueprint itself is the commitment to establish measures of accountability; specific performance standards that will help us determine if we’re moving forward, standing still or regressing.
Additional Thoughts from Dr. Zara Larsen
Lucky the leaders of change who for the sake of the organization (community) get out ahead of the crisis, although their challenges are all the more difficult in absence of the crisis.
Leaders of sustainable change think in terms of the total system, often working in three-dimensions – evolving models and treating management as design – not flat blueprints against a static, linear program plan.
“If I knew where I was going, I probably wouldn’t go there…. And the randomness is part of the opportunistic process of working with the constraints and the way they stimulate you in developing the building”, Frank Gehry, world renown, controversial and iconoclastic architect.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008