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How do we build a Knowledge Asset?

We begin with the Principles for Action for the practise of Resources that are contained in the stories that are linked to the practice of Resources. You can find a discussion of the Principles for Action on the page 'What is a Knowledge Asset?'. You can find the stories and the Principle for Action for the practise on the page Stories for the Practice of Resources

Here are Principles for Action for the practise of Resources:

  1. When the community takes ownership of a challenge, they will find the resources to meet that challenge.
  2. When a community understands their challenge, they will plan a response based on their own strengths and resources.
  3. When we commit with the heart, we have a resource that is truly sustainable.
  4. When a community has come together to deal with an issue (even a small one), it will be easy to mobilise that same community spirit to deal with other issues.
  5. When we understand our own value as a human being, we discover a valuable resource.
  6. When we look for resources within ourselves and within our community, we will be surprised by what we find.
  7. When we listen to members of our community as human beings, they will offer resources to meet the challenges that we face.
  8. When we make sure that members of the community relate to the dream and are given opportunities to contribute, the response will come.
  9. When we define 'us' too closely, we can exclude resources that are willing and able to help us.
  10. When we recognise that we too can seek election within our political system, we open the door to having a voice in our wider community.
  11. When we recognise that our community has the right to a role in local politics, we begin to have a voice.
  12. When we understand that we have a right to be involved in the local democratic process, we have another opportunity to bring about a positive change in people's lives.
  13. When we find a sustainable source of funding, we will always have the resources to take action.
  14. When we work without NGO involvement, we can see our own strengths more clearly.
  15. When we use our resources in the 'outside' world, we enhance our status and our self-confidence.
  16. When we discuss our challenges openly, we demonstrate our most precious resource, FREEDOM.

We have often groups to think about lists of Principles for Action like the one above. Whenever we do this we find that there is an animated discussion and people. The first thing that happens is that people begin to see links between the principles. And often the next thing that happens is that people begin to notice that a group of principles for action can be encompassed by a single overarching principle for action. We call this overarching principle a Common Principle for Action and it is often very useful in that it offers a new avenue to explore that is outside any of the individual principles for action. We create a new possibility.


The diagram below shows the Principles for Action laid out on a 'piece of paper'.


This diagram now shows how I have made links between these Principles for Action. I must emphasise that this is MY interpretation. I don't claim that it is the 'right answer' in any way. If you were to do the same exercise I am sure that you will come up with a different answer. I am also very confident that if we were to come together to compare and to discuss our answers, we would have a very interesting and useful discussion.

The four practices shown in purple are:

When the community takes ownership of a challenge, they will find the resources to meet that challenge.
When the community understands their challenge, they will plan a response based on their own strengths and resources.
When a community has come together to deal with an issue (even a small one), it will be easy to mobilise that community spirit to deal with other issues.
When we make sure that members of the community relate to the dream and are given opportunities to contribute, the response will come.

When I looked at these principles, I found that all of these principles relate to the Community Life Competence Process (CLCP) that we use in the Constellation. I understood, perhaps clearly and specifically for the first time, that the discipline of CLCP made us aware of the resources that we possess at each step in the cycle. And so I found this common principle:

As we work our way through the stages of CLCP, we develop an understanding of the resources that we need to address our challenges.

It seems to me that this common principle encompasses the four principles. And it has 2 advantages over the collection of principles: first, When I am using CLCP I can deliberate reflect on resources in the steps indicated by the principles and secondly I can consider if the other steps also allow me to reflect on the resources that I need in a different way.

This diagram shows the structure of this part of the Knowledge Asset for Resources.


The four practices shown in green are:

When we commit with the heart, we will have a resource that is truly sustainable.
When we understand our value as a human being, we will have a valuable resource.
When we look for resources within ourselves and within our community, we will be surprised by what we find.
When we listen to members of our community as human beings, they will offer resources to meet our challenge.

When I looked at these principles, it struck me that the practise of SALT within a community will naturually discovers and develop our resources. I found this to be a new and useful perspective around this way of working that I had not deliberately emphasised before. My Common Principle for Action became:

When we practice SALT within our community, we will nurture and develop resources that we can use.

This diagram shows this part of the Knowledge Asset.


The practices shown in yellow have an interesting history. When I first did this exercise I only had three stories and these were the principles:

When we recognise that we too can seek election in our political system, we open the door to having a voice in our wider community.
When we recognise that our community has a right to a voice in local politics, we begin to have a voice.
When we understand that we have the right to be involved in the local democratic process, we have another opportunity to bring about positive change in people's lives.

These principles and the stories that sit behind them all relate to involvement in the political and administrative process. And then I found another story that had this Principle for Action:

When we discuss our challenges openly, we demonstrate our most precious resource FREEDOM.

This story broadened my perspective of the original 3 stories dramatically. All of the stories relate to the freedom that comes when we discuss things openly. This begins in the community, but then broadens to the administrative and the political system. The resource that we are talking about is the voice of the community and that resource can make itself felt first in the community and then in the wider world. The stories helped me to see the real power of Amartya Sen's 'Development as Freedom'. So my Common Principle for Action becomes:

When we discuss issues openly, we begin to open up access to the resources of our community, our administration and our political process.

This diagram shows this part of the Knowledge Asset.


I am now left with 4 Principles for Action for which I have not created links. This is not a problem. Each of the Principles for Action has value. And there are always more experiences to add to the collection. Here are the 4 Principles for Action that I have not yet linked together:

With HUMAN resources, we are much richer.
When we find a sustainable resource, we will always be able to take action.
When we use our resources in the outside world, we enhance our status and our self-esteem.
When we work without involvement, we can see our strengths more clearly.

And all of the material is brought together in this diagram that shows our full current Knowledge Asset for Resources.

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