the mudpond

It's good to let things breathe in your imagination because often your initial response to it is not the best thought-through response. I savour little glimpses of life. Mine and those of people who turn me sideways and around. Friend or stranger. Even a child. (the world looks different from down there) Sometimes an author, photographer, artist. I let things saturate and incubate here. Hopefully, deeper meanings can percolate up and flower.

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A stray cat.


Activism - How To Conduct Yourself

AS ANYONE WHO has encountered the challenge of getting things done would tell you, in business as in real life, you don't bring about sustained, meaningful change by edict. As a leader, you need to persuade, enthuse, and engage people in sufficient numbers to change behaviours, laws or processes. In business-speak, it's called Change Management.

And activism is Change Management writ large.

One of the gurus on this subject is John Kotter. In his book Leading Change he describes an effective process to getting people to do different things or things differently.

Seasoned and accomplished environmental activist Elizabeth May of the Sierra Club of Canada has writen a wonderful primer called How to Be an Activist that essentially uses Kotter's process.

Here are her hints for how to conduct yourself as an activist:

1. Refuse to be intimidated. If you are told that a subject is too technical or scientific for you to understand, don't believe it.

2. Be creative! Every campaign and issue has its own dynamic.

3. Don't take no for an answer. Be persistent, the squeaky wheel.

4. Ask lots of questions. Get to the bottom of issues. Do your homework.

5. Use the telephone. It is a great research tool.

6. Be unfailingly polite. Being persistent is not the same thing as being rude.

7. Leave no stone unturned. Ask people for help.

8. Give public credit and thanks.

9. You can accomplish anything, if you don't care who gets the credit.

10. Remember that politics is also personal. Watch out for burn-out. You'll need the support of friends and family. Build love into your campaigns.

This may seem simple and obvious. It is, and it works - if Elizabeth May's reputation is anything to go by. The main reason you don't see huge changes being wrought every day is human nature. And often times, change has to begin with the activist, before he can himself become a real change agent.

As Michael Moore's unfortunate speech at the Oscars so effectivley illustrated, sometimes how you do things is as important as what you do to bring about needed change.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Moore cannot be but a thoroughbred LLL - something so fashionable for anyone who has gripes against the establishment and is able to raise a crowd on his side. But the quality of his noisy crowd does not impress as well...including some Hollywood stars so ill-informed and ignorant.

Martin Luther King was da man of substance but Jesse Jackson is no replacement, not at all.

Percolator, it appears, you are too polite to add that to effect somethings, often a good dose of humility and forebearance is also of the essence. Not forgetting enough HUMOUR as well. No? ;)


11:24 AM  
Blogger percolator said...

Me polite? Uhmm... some self-restraint is good, I'm told. *LOL*
Otherwise, I like to leave somethimg for others more eloquent, articulate and more informed than I, to take up.
Oh I did mention sense of humor in "Catching Flies' ;)

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"7. Leave no stone unturned. Ask people for help."

Some ppl leaves no stone unthrown and fall back entirely back to their hate mongering mullahs for the crutical mass to form.!

OT, that Iranian Abu is heading fast forward towards fulfilling the St. Bernadette's prophecy of the 19th. century. Only they have the holy rights to making hate speeches!


1:24 PM  

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