Understanding the Ripple Effects of Infrastructure on the Community

Now that we have covered the effects of the form or design on the community we must continue building a complete picture of the issue at hand. This brings us to the effects of the infrastructure on the community at large. Infrastructure is the practical side of the implementation of a new idea. In essence, it is the way in which your company brings its initiatives to life. The leadership or decision-making structure, resources, time, and actions or steps must all be evaluated in terms of their effect on social or community well-being. Let’s look closer at some of the questions that you need to ask.

What are the positive/negative effects of the decision-making model on the community?

The first question you have to ask yourself is if there will be positive or negative effects arising from the leadership or decision-making model. Does the leadership model within your company empower the local community —whether the community refers to in-house or to the physical/social community outside the organization, or does it adversely affect the community and your standing within it? How do you deal with conflict? As you input values for this first sub category in the FoRSE™ Matrix system, for example, it will become evident from feedback and from leadership input how aligned are the decisions and direction.

What are the effects of the resources on the community (or environment)?

Your company must invest in or employ resources, whether they are people, monetary, raw materials or capital, in order to carry out its initiative. How and when these resources are handled will inevitably create ripple effects throughout the local and global community, so they must be considered. Will the procurement or use of resources hurt or benefit the community? Will it create tension among people or between people and the organization? Are there enough resources to achieve the desired goals? Are people content with the resources available in order to accomplish their tasks? These are a few, pertinent questions to consider.

What are the effects of the timeline?

The timeline is the length of time in which you complete your goal and the amount of time originally designated to do the job. What will the effects of the designated timeline or actual time be on the community? Will rushing a task create too much strain on resources or achievement of the organization’s purpose? How will delays affect people’s lives? These questions need to be considered before moving forward.

What are the effects of the actions?

Examining the steps or procedures or actions to attain your goal obviously are important in order to be successful. But unless you consider their larger, ripple effects on the community and social well-being your efforts might work against you in which case all your good intentions and clever planning will have been in vain and you’ll find yourself engaging more boardroom conversations and/or consultants to try another pathway. What benefits might this initiative bring to people in your organization or in the area? Are they acceptable to them or must there be compromises? How will you implement sustainable change and who will guide the process?

The infrastructure is the way in which your company will make its goals become reality, so it will without a doubt have real effects on people, both locally and globally. Considering the effects on the community of the infrastructure category questions is equally vital to obtaining big(ger) picture thinking with the help of the FoRSE™ Matrix. For more information how your organization can become a big picture thinking organization, contact us.

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