Here’s the thing about people: We think that complaining is how you change something. We lean toward this premise because it’s much easier to gripe about something than it is to offer a solution. After all, problem solving is hard. It takes a forward-thinking mindset to look beyond how the problem made you feel in order to discover a way to fix it.
Working in public service, if you encourage the community to share aspirations and be involved in the process you can start to build an atmosphere of innovation. This changes the dynamic of everything in government. Objections become objectives, resentments become resolutions. We improve.
Creating this effect is not as easy as ABC. So, keep it simple. We started asking people what they #ThinkReno can be. People said things like “the most innovative city in the west” and “an arts destination.” Several people shared short but profound concepts like “cleaner” and “inviting.” In one month (April 2014), we collected hundreds of these and combined them all together into a wordcloud to check the pulse of what our community is thinking. It was a small sample size, but this is what came back:
The City of Reno communications team will be collecting these each month. We’ll compare the data and look for trends. Most importantly, we’ll share this stuff with people who move money and make policy. So, tell us what you #ThinkReno can be. Post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and hashtag #ThinkReno. If you’re an overachiever, click here to download a #ThinkReno sign. Print it, write on it, take a picture and post it online. We’re listening.