One community is innovative in addressing long-term issues and situations related to quality of life, economic impact, and demographic renewal. Another community is not. What is the difference? What can communities do to be ready for change? What role can Extension play in helping a community address complex situations such as identifying new leaders, being competitive in a digital economy, creating healthy communities, or attracting new populations and retaining exciting community members? One key to success is assessing community readiness for change.
Nebraska Extension has been exploring how to better work with communities to engage in long-term change efforts. This led to the development of a community readiness tool that is based on research previously completed by Dr. Scott Chazdon at the University of Minnesota Extension. Working with Dr. Chazdon, the team researched community readiness theories and designs for assessing when communities are ready for change: