“The only irreplaceable capital an organisation possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it.” Andrew Carnegie, 1835 – 1919
This sentence written long time ago made me think about my role as a community organiser running community library and hub. I realised how little I would had done without people around me. Without my colleagues, superiors, volunteers, friends, community members and even without my enemies. My knowledge, skills, competence is one thing. It depends, more or less, on my ambition, dedication, opportunities and abilities. I can learn and develop my knowledge, go deeper and build expert wisdom through specialist courses, I can spend weekends on reading books, I can roll up sleeves and ‘have a go’, experiment and be prepared to fail….this is how little I can. What brings the real difference is connecting and interacting with others, locating and discovering expertise within members of the community, sharing and learning: skills, information, knowledge; looking at the project from numerous perspectives which leads to: innovation, relationship building (even virtual), trust building -it all add value to the project and group’s effectiveness and in turns empowering more people to work together to achieve common goals and social change.
Last couple of weeks I was still sharing project idea with the community mostly in the community hub, but also including council officers and some other volunteer organisations. Through our growing network I met an architect who will support the project, and together with Jimm and Joanna we started working on asset transfer proposal for the council. We are hoping to have it done by end of the month and submit it to Manchester Council. Jacek and Artur took part in Preparing to build in straw bale course, Joanna and Tilly are looking closely into incorporating options. In March we are planning to go to asset transfer workshop run by MACC in Manchester. We are also looking forward to see Mandy from Imagine in March. Meanwhile we are growing the human network. The real power.