Moving toward conflict

We have a bookshelf in our office and I dip into it from time to time. This book stood out as I am personally and professionally becoming more interested in adding some conflict into our strategy. Let me explain. We are in rural North Carolina and so much of our work is focused in place and in sector – not only is our community rather small (i.e. you see the people you work with in the grocery store) when you drill down in to the manufacturing community in this place it is even smaller. At The Industrial Commons we have always found success with “insider strategies” as described in the reading. We have allies in traditional institutions – from the community college system to our local elected officials and economic developers – we have built relationships with key traditional allies that allow us to accomplish a lot in our community; however, I (I won’t speak for the entire organization) am more interested in beginning to utilize strategies that could be seen as more conflictual. The book Partnering for Change provided concrete examples (although most related to a union, which largely do not have a presence in our region) of structure organizing that sparked many new ideas for me for our work.

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