Community: The Structure of Belonging

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Sep 1, 2009 - Business & Economics - 240 pages
Most of our communities are fragmented and at odds within themselves. Businesses, social services, education, and health care each live within their own worlds. The same is true of individual citizens, who long for connection but end up marginalized, their gifts overlooked, their potential contributions lost. What keeps this from changing is that we are trapped in an old and tired conversation about who we are. If this narrative does not shift, we will never truly create a common future and work toward it together. What Peter Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation. How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? What can individuals and formal leaders do to create a place they want to inhabit? We know what healthy communities look like—there are many success stories out there. The challenge is how to create one in our own place. Block helps us see how we can change the existing context of community from one of deficiencies, interests, and entitlement to one of possibility, generosity, and gifts. Questions are more important than answers in this effort, which means leadership is not a matter of style or vision but is about getting the right people together in the right way: convening is a more critical skill than commanding. As he explores the nature of community and the dynamics of transformation, Block outlines six kinds of conversation that will create communal accountability and commitment and describes how we can design physical spaces and structures that will themselves foster a sense of belonging. In Community, Peter Block explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Michael_Godfrey - LibraryThing

In-speaking gobbledygook written in breathy prose, reimpregnating normally comprehensible words with new meaning, this tome comes dangerously close to proving George Orwell right. I should have taken the author's advice on page 32, and read no further. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - paulsignorelli - LibraryThing

Peter Block shows, in his work and his presentations, that it doesn’t take much effort to initiate the process of building and strengthening communities—just a few people willing to gather and cross ... Read full review


INTRODUCTIONThe Fragmented Community and Its Transformation
PART ONEThe Fabric of Community
CHAPTER 1Insights into Transformation
CHAPTER 2Shifting the Context for Community
CHAPTER 3The Stuck Community
CHAPTER 4The Restorative Community
CHAPTER 5Taking Back Our Projections
CHAPTER 11Invitation
CHAPTER 12The Possibility Ownership Dissent Commitment and Gifts Conversations
CHAPTER 13Bringing Hospitality into the World
CHAPTER 14Designing Physical Space That Supports Community
CHAPTER 15The End of Unnecessary Suffering
MOREBook at a Glance
Role Models and Resources

CHAPTER 6What It Means to Be a Citizen
CHAPTER 7The Transforming Community
PART TWOThe Alchemy of Belonging
CHAPTER 8Leadership Is Convening
CHAPTER 9The Small Group Is the Unit of Transformation
CHAPTER 10Questions Are More Transforming Than Answers
Midterm Review
About the Author
About the Design
About BerrettKoehler Publishers
Be Connected

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About the author (2009)

Peter Block is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed by Block to build the skills outlined in his books. He is the author of Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Empowered Manager, and The Answer to How Is Yes. He is the recipient of the American Society for Training and Development Award for Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance and the Association for Quality and Participation President’s Award. He is also a member of Training magazine’s HRD Hall of Fame.

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