Your community is like your house. If you lose a homeowner’s trust or belief in your community’s leadership it’s like a small crack in the foundation of your house. And, if you continue to lose trust, sooner or later floors will start to sink, cracks will appear in the walls, and before you know it the stability is gone and you might be left with a big pile of rubble.
Then again, a little unevenness doesn’t mean there are structural problems, as houses settle over time. Similarly, a few rabble-rousers causing a ruckus doesn’t necessarily mean a community-wide mutiny is on its way. But you should still address even minor cracks, as they could grow and create all kinds of difficulties.
More importantly be aware of the following basic warning signs, which often reveal a more wide-spread problem:
1) A “watchdog” site appears online
2) Anonymous letters posted on doors
3) Significant increase in attendance at meetings
4) Significant increase in requests for records
5) Assessment payments withheld to “make a point”
Are you noticing some of the above problems? If so, don’t ignore them. Identify the source of the problem and address it. And, if there are several sources/problems, it might be best to bring in your experts for a campaign to strengthen and/or remodel your “house”. Your managers, attorneys, and other industry experts can assist you with community-building and strategic planning so you can rebuild the rubble, and make something better and stronger to withstand tomorrow’s challenges.