Rocket Fuel!

During the past week, I’ve been asked numerous times why last week’s launch seemed so different from the average book launch. The answer is easy: It wasn’t a book launch!

We realized early on that The Pollyanna Principles is not just another “book to be marketed.” It is instead one part of a larger effort to help this sector grab hold of its power to change the world.

So last week we indeed launched the book. But we also launched the consultant curriculum at the Community-Driven Institute. And we launched what we hope will be an ongoing dialogue about creating visionary improvement in our communities and our world.

To that end, over the next few days I want to share some of the rich discussions I have been privileged to have about just those topics. The first is a conversation I had with John Haydon. Those who have read some of my posts about Social Media and Social Networking know that I have recommended John’s straight-shooting approach to using tools like Facebook and Twitter for community benefit work.

Last week, John interviewed me at his blog. His was the most to-the-point interview I had all week, and because of that, it was the most fun.  In two words, John “gets it.” I love his choice of words – words like “powerful” and “courageous.”  How much more can one ask for?

I hope you enjoy the conversation John and I shared, which you will find at this link. And please, comment at John’s blog as a way of thanking him for being part of this movement!

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5 Responses to Rocket Fuel!

  1. Thanks, Hildy.

    Meeting you and reading your book has been the highlight of my month (aside from getting arrested after my tight rope walk across Niagara Falls)!


  2. Hildy,
    As I read your book, I’m making notes to myself in the margins.

    After reading “The Culture of Can’t”, I found a strange thought running in the background of my consciousness. I was dismissing the ideas of peace and harmony as dreams, but my real concern was not that they were fantasies, but that they might be attainable. What then? What purpose would I have if everything were good? (It’s a wretched way of looking at things, but there I was.)

    The ideal world is a difficult thing for me to envision. When I try to think it through, to create a logic model of sorts, I find myself branching off infinitely in many directions and get lost. Perhaps the ideal world is difficult to attain not because it cannot exist, but because it is so difficult to conceptualize.


  3. Libba:
    Your comment is just about the best gift I could get – to know that the book is making you think so much about these issues! I look forward to hearing more from you as you continue reading. Given your “logic model” notes, I think you will very much enjoy the planning section of the book. Keep me posted as you keep thinking things through!

  4. Thoughts about The Pollyanna Principles, continued:
    This book speaks to the experience of both grantors and grant developers. The mindset of “Old World Charity” as you outline it is a vivid description of much our experience in the grant writing world. Jumping through hoops to meet the accountability requirements of funders is part of the game. What is very interesting to me now is that the federal grants that we are seeing as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) appear to me to be far less prescriptive about “what it best” for beneficiaries. The Feds are asking us to make the case for our needs and how we think it is best to meet them. Accountability measures are going to be extraordinary — for good reason — so the jumping- through-hoops-business to meet the grantor’s requirements will still be there. But the emphasis on the grantees playing a role in determining how best to use the funds is a very positive development.

    Last week, we presented two grant writing workshops for the community during which we provided an overview of the process with some specifics about the ARRA. The auditorium was filled to capacity with people from all kinds of large and small organizations, Community Benefit (aka “Non-profit”) and for-profit businesses, churches, inventors, educators, and many more. People listened attentively, took notes, and asked questions. Afterwards, as many came up to discuss their individual projects, I was struck by two things:
    1. People had truly creative ideas and solutions to community problems
    2. People were excited by the opportunity to put their ideas into play.

    Were all these people to get together, share their ideas, and collaborate, imagine what they could accomplish!

    The Stimulus package is not everyone’s idea of a good thing. It is a shame that our economy has reached such a state as to make this an alternative, let alone a necessity. What does encourage me, however, is the positive view of people who see in this situation an opportunity to change things for the better.