The Community Leadership Handbook, Part Two: Tools for Framing Ideas. (Krile, 2006)

Six Tools for Framing Ideas

Begin with Assets and a Community Problem

When communities identify assets, they focus on the resources already available within the community, rather than feeling helpless. When identifying resources, a key strategy is to mobilize resources by figuring out how to get more people involved. Using community locations as mobilizing centers is one method. In the end, communities are energized by the shared vision and ability to increase their economic opportunities.

  • Write a list of your skills
  • Think about the type of skills you have that you could get paid for
  • Think about affiliations you have

Use Community Data to Inform

Data is an essential tool that can be used when analyzing assets, identifying a community problem, identifying what is working and why it is working, and making decisions on the community’s future. Rather than the community waiting for outsiders to come in and evaluate the data, what, why, and how, community leaders can take the first step to identify what data access they have and how they will use the data to move the community into action. 

  • Consider what you value the most in the community
  • Think about what is working and why
  • Revisit the community problem

Define and Implement a Vision

Through Appreciate Inquiry, communities can discuss the strengths and opportunities for improvement from the past and the present. Community conversations bring diverse groups of people together and give a voice to residents who have been voiceless in the past. A collaborative effort to get excited as a community about the future. 

The Appreciative Inquiry brings a community one-step closer to developing a vision for the community and moving forward with a plan of action to implement the vision.

Framing ideas for the community involves a collaborative approach from Step 1 through Step 6. To define the vision, the community must determine a collective group of people, a steering committee, that will lead the group to develop and implement the vision. Community members must think about the future, in terms of x number of years from now, and identify reoccurring themes in their shared vision. Use the key themes and draft a vision statement. Use the vision statement to develop attainable goals using the SMART goals approach to turn the vision into action. Attach identified assets to the goals.

  • Think about the core values of the community
  • Consider the voices that represent large representative populations
  • Assess what is attainable in the projected timeline


DataGovNetwork. (2019, December 19). Community data: owning the data about us. [Video]. YouTube

Krile, J. F., Curphy, G. J., & Lund, D. R. (2006). The community leadership handbook: Framing ideas, building relationships, and mobilizing resources.

Wanamaker, P. (2017, July 31). [Word Cloud].

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