In the summer of 2013, I wrote a series of six posts about how change happens in community and what organisers can do to stimulate and foster positive change. The series was inspired by Les Robinson’s Changeology (see below for further details)I have brought them together here so that readers can see them as the intended series and read them in order. Below I have also collated the resources I mentioned in the posts. If you are aware of missing or new quality resources on making community change happen, I’d love to hear from you.

1. Creating a Buzz

2. Hope – the highway to change

3. Its the System Stupid!

4. Stickiness and Reinvention

5. Making change safe and sure

6. Become a Changemaker


Les Robinson (2012) Changeology: How to Enable groups, communities and societies to do things they’ve never done before Greenbooks An excellent introduction to social marketing, tackling some of the key issues head on and offering evidence-rich strategies to improve your organising.

Malcolm Gladwell (2001) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Abacus This is an oldie but an absolute classic. It is the pinnacle of Gladwell’s writing and explores how information travels and ideas take root.

Valdis Krebs and June Holley (2006) Building Smart Communities through
Network Weaving
 Available from In
this seminal work, Krebs and Holley explore what makes networks effective and
how network weaving can enhance their functioning. Much else on the orgnet site
is also worth exploring.

Michael Jacoby Brown (2006) Building Powerful Community Organizations: A Personal Guide to Creating Groups that can Solve Problems and Change the World Long Haul Press

Mary Beth Rogers (1990) Cold Anger – A Story of Faith and Power Politics UNT Press

Margaret Ledwith (2011) Community development: a critical approach (2nd edition) Policy Press This foundational text book offers an excellent introduction to Gramsci’s work and especially his concept of hegemony in Chapter 6: The Power of Ideas

Joan Minieri and Paul Getsos Tools for Radical Democracy: How to Organize for Power in your Community (2007) is a practical guide to organising built on the
author’s experience in New York

Roman Krznaric (2007) How Change Happens: Interdisciplinary Perspectives for Human Development Oxfam Download from Oxfam Policy and Practice – fascinating account of the theories of change in different fields of human enquiry – highly recommended

Catherine Crystal Foster and Justin Louie (2010) Evaluating Community Organizing Centre for Evaluation Innovation Download from

Dan Heath and Chip Heath (2008) Made to Stick – Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck Arrow – great read about how to make your communications more effective

Albert Bandura (1977)  “Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change” inPsychological Review Vol. 84, No. 2, 191-215 Available from

Smith, M. K. (2001) ‘Kurt Lewin, groups, experiential learning and action research’, the encyclopedia of informal education

Paul Castelloe and Thomas Watson (2000) How to Enter a Community as an OrganizerCenter for Participatory Change Available from

Fred Ross (1989) Axioms for Organizers Farm Workers Movement Available at

Western Organisation of Resource Councils (2009) How to Understand the Role of a Community Organizer Available at

Si Khan (1991) Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders NASW Press

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