A cause, an issue, an injustice or an event, which causes you to be confronted, experiencing a range of uncomfortable emotions to such an extent that you’re prepared to stand up and be counted. Something that your prepared to invest your time, effort and resources into, something that can sustain the test of time, the impact of others not supporting or getting involved as you would like and of course the absence of resources and at times, successful outcomes.
One of the biggest pebbles that should be in many shoes is the increasing number of community organisations doing similar work reducing the availability of resources and creating division amongst the community itself, not to mention adversely impacting the outcomes of all organisations.
Why aren’t community organisations being courageous, why aren’t community organisations taking action towards what is arguably one of the most transformative strategic opportunities available today?
Simply put, there are not enough pebbles in people’s shoes, especially one of this magnitude which demands courageous and bold leadership.
I’m happy that I have my share of pebbles which apart from this issue includes the inequity that people who live with a mental illness endure, often alone and despite support being available, for many reasons do not avail themselves of it, or the disadvantage children suffer as a result of a disability, dysfunctional family environments and poverty. I see these problems each and every day; they are truly wicked unresolved problems for our community.
Just as Homelessness remains a telling indictment on our community, something that future generations will seek to understand why we did not resolve the issues which result in people who are mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends coming to the conclusion that the best alternative for them, the only alternative for them, is to leave their home and sleep rough.
There is no shortage of pebbles for each and every one of us, just as there is ample opportunity for the courageous.
Strategically, if we as a community do not resolve the growing duplication of community organisations doing like for like work on shared issues, we will continue to go backwards.
Consider how impactful like organisations coming together over shared issues, the common pebbles in their shoes, setting aside differences, focusing on the things in common and collaborating.
The uncomfortable truth is that we need fewer organisations, but those who continue on must do less, that is, deliver on their purpose, no longer indulge individuals personal projects, start sharing and leveraging the scarce resources available enabling tangible lasting change.
Until we see real and sustained collaboration and the number of community organisations decreasing, be nervous, be uncomfortable and make this one of the pebbles in your shoe.