Regional Metamorphosis involves growing and evolving two distinct, but ideally overlapping domains of activity:

Community Building includes all those activities that improve the nature, quantity and quality of relationships and agreements among interdependent players. Some examples include:

  • Boundary-crossing collaborations; cross-functional task forces
  • Skills building, e.g., convening, collaboration, forming generative alliances, conflict resolution, innovation
  • Creative use of digital media to appreciate and connect regional membership and activities
  • Social activities, e.g., fairs, festivals, celebrations

Community Building activities tend to be —

  • “High touch” and relatively uncomplicated
  • Actionable — very satisfying to the action-oriented
  • Immediately and intrinsically rewarding
  • Relatively easy to for others to adopt
  • Relatively low cost to initiate.

Systemic-Capacity Building includes all those activities that increase the capacities of the region’s social systems (organizations, governments, schools, etc.) to self-improve and self-evolve. Systemic capacity-building initiatives tend to be more complex: all three spans of the 3-Span Bridge Lens need to be carefully designed and well-implemented:

Expertise — Just as an office building makeover requires different expertise than the office work it houses, so it is with building new organizational capacities. The special expertise required for systemic-capacity building includes B and C-work knowledge and skills most relevant to capacity building challenge.

Infrastructure — The complexity of systemic capacity-building initiatives requires specially designed “learning and change infrastructure” that supports the system-in-transition. Examples of such infrastructure include specially designed gatherings, new agreements, new accountability structures, new rituals, specially designed and dedicated physical spaces, etc. Whatever the infrastructure, it needs to support the metamorphosis of the Stories, Structures and Patterns that comprise the social-system-in-transition.

Resources — Just as it costs money, time and attention to remodel our homes, so it is with our social systems.

Systemic-capacity building activities

  • Tend to involve longer-term developmental work
  • Require experience/expertise in systems change work
  • Require patience and persistence
  • Involve systems thinking.


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