Specific Actions to Do: The Seven Tasks

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  • Gandhi-07
There are two days in the year when we can not do anything: yesterday and tomorrowGandhi

To grow improving lives, there appears to be a cycle of tasks. Completing one round of this cycle stages for the next cycle, like a wheel that goes around. Doing the cycle repeatedly produces progress. In academics, the cycle is: go to class each day, do the work, complete the year, then another year follows. A perfectionist student who takes too much time completing any individual assignments will not graduate—even though that student is perfect at every part they do.

Agriculture gives a parallel. A farmer who spends all the time plowing will never get to planting . . . let alone the harvest. A noteworthy feature is the agricultural cycle farmers follow all over the world is the same:  prepare the field, plow, plant, protect, irrigate, then harvest. For social change, SEED-SCALE identifies a parallel, possible-everywhere cycle. This distinguishes seven tasks. Keep tasks simple, so it is possible to run the whole cycle and get to the harvest of a rising quality of life. If one task is made too complicated, the benefit is lost of one cycle growing on the cycle before.

Cycle of 7 Tasks

The seven tasks (under three headings) are:

Building Capacity

  1. Develop Leadership: Create or recreate a coordinating committee, and use that to mobilize community and partners. An individual leader can get caught between factions, while a committee can more easily bring groups together and has potential to distribute responsibilities.
  2. Find a Starting Point & Resources: Identify past successes. What a community has succeeded in is the best base for future action. On its own a community may not see its strengths. Experts can help identify these.
  3. Obtain a Relevant Education: Visit other communities to learn about their successes. Find what worked for others, adapt these. Send people on these visits who will actually do the work (not only the powerful) so these workers get training.

A Vision for Where to Go: SEED (Self-Evaluation for Effective Decisionmaking)

  1. Fit Local Situation to local Ecology, Economy, & Values: Self-Evaluation. Evaluate objectively—for that get evidence instead of deciding from opinions, power, or who has the money.
  2. Determine Direction & Partners: Effective Decisionmaking. Discuss problem sources, explore possible solutions, and prioritize what is doable. Then the committee (or whole community) can create a workplan to assign jobs to all.

Taking Action

  1. Coordinate People, Resources, & Time: Act. Involve as many people as possible across the community. (A community is a group that shares something in common and has the potential to act together—grow that potential.) Start projects that will be popular. Action grows when it is successful and addresses priorities.
  2. Keep Momentum On-track: Midcourse Corrections. Identify gaps. Corrections must strengthen the principles (commend success, grow partnerships, refine evidence, nurture behavior changes) toward the larger result that community energy rises. Strengthening principles is what is important (in the principles resides the energy), more important than achieving workplan targets. Through strengthened principles community fabric grows stronger.
  • Gandhi-08
If we are to make progress, we must not repeat history but make new history. We must add to the inheritance left by our ancestorsGandhi

Gandhi Quote:The future depends on what you do today.”

SEED-SCALE Sample Workplan

Objective What to do Where to do When to start When to finish Who inside Who outside How to do Needed training Needed supplies Remarks

  • 2.a
  • 2.b
  • 2.c