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Learning Resources

This section is used to list resources available to Groups and individuals across North Cornwall. To use any of the Resources, just contact the originator of the message.

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Forming a Leadership Group

Forming a Leadership Group

It’s highly unlikely that your TI will be able to transform your local economy all by itself. You will need to gather a group of organisations that are interested in, and maybe responsible for, local economic development. There may even be such a group already in place. We suggest you find out who these organisation are, what they are doing and planning, and then find a way to connect and collaborate.

Who are your potential partners?

A good starting point is to talk to your local council, district council and county council. Find out what economic strategies they have in place, and who is responsible. This information is generally available on their websites. Most local authorities have Local Enterprise Partnerships or LEPs which provide “the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area” although Rob Hopkins has a different take on LEPs.

There may be associations or groups that represent local businesses such as Chambers of Trade or Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses etc. Your local secondary school or college may also be interested in the skills and training elements of the local economy.

Other community based organisations may also be interested in economic work, such as the development trusts (now called Locality). There may be local organisations offering support to new enterprises and existing businesses.

Once you have made a list of potential partners, you can make contact and meet with them to understand what they do and why, then share your ideas, and assess the extent of common ground and interest in working together.

When you then form (or join) the group, it is important to be clear about the aims of such a partnership, and the role each member plays. This can be documented in a terms of reference.

This work of forming a leadership group is embedded in the economic strategy work of Transition Town Totnes, where you can see an example of who might be in such a group, and how to work collectively with a shared purpose, building mutual trust along the way.

Working well together

There are ways to set up groups so they can be successful and enjoyable at the same time. If attention is not given to group aims and dynamics, how decisions are made, what is expected etc., then groups can quickly deteriorate, be frustrating and result in conflict and people leaving.

Transition Network offers training in how to set up and run Effective Groups which your leadership group might want to use. Here’s a link to the Prezi presentation used in this course (click on image, then More, then Full screen and use right-left arrows to move around):

Indians as well as chiefs

While it’s essential to have some clear leadership, and level of co-ordination, among local organisations working on the new local economy, we also need people to do the work on the ground.

Setting up a Business & Livelihoods group, for example, creates the means by which people in your local TI and wider community can participate in and influence this work.

See here for an an update about Transition Town Totnes’s Business and Livelihoods group, and what they are doing. Please send us stories about your own groups so we can share them here.

Related Transition Ingredients on the Transition Network website: Coming together as groups.

Resistance to economic work, or working with businesses?

An online survey with Transition Initiatives in 2010 revealed that some people within the Transition movement may have reservations about working in this field, especially with big business. There is a dilemma for each to resolve for themselves, neatly captured in ‘The Paradox of Corporate Power’ article in the Guardian.

However, for the scale and speed of transformation needed in society, change has to be systemic, and that can mean engaging all types of business, especially those who are powerfully placed to influence local economies.

You may find the section Why transition to a new local economy? useful in explaining to your TI colleagues why this work is important.

http://www.reconomyproject.org/?p=1248