Legitimacy and Those Who Have It Are the Keys to Change

Once you have effectively exposed the institution for its inability to achieve its own stated goals, the institution has basically two alternatives: (1) to make changes to achieve the goal, or (2) to become defensive and attack your group.

Most institutions will initially resist change, especially if it is initiated from within.  If they do begin to change, be on guard.  Your group could be co-opted or sandbagged when a policymaker gives superficial lip service to your suggestion but has no intention of implementing the policy or change. Your group, thinking they have won, will become diffused and apatheticólosing interest even though the critical work of implementing the change will require continued oversight and pressure. Quick success is almost always fatal to a community group!

If the institution reacts defensively and begins to attack your group, it means you have hit a sensitive point and are on the right track. You can be sure you have become a threat when the institution begins to challenge your group's credibility. You must expect this kind of attack and not become defensive. You can judge the merit of your recommended change by the intensity of the institutional attack. The more defensive and hostile their response to you and your group, the more on target you are. You should move ahead aggressively.

Next Ingredient-->Commitment