Collaborating for Community

Thinking Out Loud with Karl Hackett

Jacob Willard Home


It was explaining to someone that, you know, a lot of people when they’re looking at design, if someone hires a designer, a designer walks into a space, and they develop a vision, and they sell that vision to the customer. My approach is to spend time with the customer, listen to them about how they live, and about what they feel, and what they want the space to evoke for them, and for people to come into it. And then my job is to interpret their vision. I know individual pieces, and individual designers, and so forth, but if I don’t know them, then I’m just plugging pieces into the space. And so, it’s critical for me to know them, so that informs how I can suggest to them pieces that will work for what they’re hoping to accomplish. And I think in a lot of ways that’s my approach to community. I have worked in a lot of ways in community, parts of different organizations, and groups, and efforts, and people come into those processes and they will try to impose their vision on the collective. And I always bristle at them, because if you’re trying to impose your vision, then you are not working collaboratively, right? And so I try to listen. I want to provide space for people to have and to share their opinions freely. And I think that if we can do that in a way that’s respectful and that really takes, you know, give some earnest consideration to what people want and what they hope for, then I think that you can bring that together into a vision that I think works best for all involved, and particularly the community. We all wanna to feel respected. We all wanna feel like our opinions are valid and valued. And sometimes just invoking a bit of humility it goes a long way. I think that if you’re working in an organization, if you’re working on behalf of a particular effort or objective, whether that is within your church, within your family, within your community, you know, remember that your role is to be a part of that mission. It isn’t to dominate that mission, and it isn’t to impose your will, right? It is to be a part of something. And you can’t be a part of something if you aren’t inviting other people to be a part of that process.

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Center for Faithful Business

Seattle Pacific University

Dr. JoAnn Flett, Executive Director


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