Go Slow to Go Fast
A common pushback we hear against doing effective public participation is that it just takes too long. Organizations hate the idea of letting the public, especially their critics, slow their plans and the process down. If people would just leave us alone, things would go so much better and when it’s done, everybody will see what a great job we did. Of course, it almost never works that way and for those of us who work in or with the public sector, the public is the point, isn’t it. There are an endless number of stories of organizations that decided to speed up the process by circumventing or short-changing the public, forcing the decision and then either losing the project entirely or grinding to a halt in an endless legal quagmire by people who oppose their thinking and decision. You can only think so fast and co-thinking with your stakeholders saves time and gets better, supported results.