Let go of control the Idea Friendly Way

I get it. Everything is coming at you at once. Trying to prioritize becomes an exercise in futility. You’ve lost your grip on being in control. Stop. Breathe. Realize that you don’t have to be in charge. In fact, being in charge and in control is a demon of the past, part of the old…

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Small steps for downtown placemaking

My friend has written a grant for funding to re-do the bump outs in our downtown as part of a placemaking project.  There will be trees to help cool down the area. They hope to have bicycle racks specially designed as art. Then another friend told me about a small town in Missouri that painted…

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Crappy jobs don’t have to be

Idea Friendly Method

You all know about workplaces that are crappy. They operate on the old way principle of ‘this is good enough, you’re lucky to have a job.’ The pay isn’t up to par. There’s no real benefit package that includes insurance, 401K, PTO and sick days. Management operates under the fear principle (make everyone afraid of…

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Plant some trees

St Francis students

You’d think planting trees in your small town would be a huge deal and take a ton of time, wouldn’t you? Chad from Lake Francis Case Economic Development in Chamberlain, South Dakota didn’t know that. He found a grant for $2,500 to be used for planting trees. It required a 50/50 match. Chad simply asked…

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Akron Iowa onsite visit update

Akron Iowa onsite visit

Several years ago, I was in Akron, Iowa, population 1,558, for an onsite Idea Friendly visit for one week. They’ve been gathering their crowd, building connections, and taking small steps. Their former mayor, Sharon, sends updates periodically. The following is from her latest email update. We now have seven businesses serving food: Casey’s. Chubs is…

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What if you held your meetings outside?

meeting outside

You’ve sat through plenty of board meetings and a few city council meetings. They are held in the ‘official’ locations, with assigned seating (real or imagined) and there’s a course of action you must follow.  What if you moved your meeting outside?  Send the previous minutes and financials out by email ahead of time and…

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Be an Idea Friendly board member

Idea Friendly Method

Most of us who actively volunteer and work in a small town will more than likely be a board member of some organization eventually. The first role of any board is the fiscal wellness of the organization. Knowing the mission statement and being familiar with the bylaws, will help guide your decisions. Your job from…

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Creating A Food Cultural Event

cooking class

On our Arts Video I talked about different cultures participating in a food event. Lisa wrote in and asked how to take the first steps in her community to bring different cultures together. Webster City has an organization called All Cultures Equal (ACE). They have a physical location with ESL classes, food bank, homemade kind…

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Does your town stay open late?

sunset

What if you told the story that your town is one that stays open late?  You’d probably be telling the truth, even though many of your downtown stores close at 5. Make a list of all the businesses that stay open late. Restaurants Convenience Store Gas Station Salons Gyms Pharmacies Big Boxes (ones still open…

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