Community Improvement Alliance – It's all about Revitalization, Information, Serviceability and Economics.
At ConnectUs we believe in revitalization for every community in need of improvement. We provide accurate and timely information that helps our clients, the residents and merchants of a community recognize that in order to succeed, everyone needs to be able to handle the serviceability of their economic growth. Through ConnectUs, we provide the RISE model, which is a template for success. RISE is Rapport, Information, Solutions, Ethically.
Using the work we have done within our own community, ConnectUs International Inc. has developed a “roadmap for success”. The company moved to its Kerr Street location three years ago. We knew that the community we chose was depressed and needed some help. But because our company was growing rapidly and there was a need for a conferencing facility as well as more office space we chose Oakville and a storefront location on Kerr Street. The reason? Affordable rent, easy access to major highways and a community that “felt right”. When the move was completed, we began to walk the street, to become more knowledgeable about the community we had chosen to be company's new home.
We found a diverse group of merchants and residents and within a few weeks, we were part of a local community association.
It was evident from the beginning that we would assume the role of "project managers". We quickly found that there is always needs to be a “lead” someone who can take the initiative when it came to measuring, monitoring and developing the progress and growth needed in our community.
Over the past three years, we have formed new alliances with local government, not for profit organizations, education and industry. We have put into place a mentoring program for new Canadians, people with disabilities, youth at risk, and those re-entering the workforce. We have helped with the retraining of our community through a variety of programs sponsored by federal government. We have been sponsors for co-op programs offered through local colleges and we have supported many programs through training workshops we deliver and donate.
We have designed and structured a cohesive and measurable way to utilize the 40 hours of community service each high school student needs to complete before graduating. The company has worked with local high schools to monitor the results used in the test model that was co-coordinated to compliment the revitalization program for our community.
ConnectUs is proud to be part of the revitalization of our community, as an active player, the company has played host to the meetings held monthly to discuss, develop and deliver a structured vision for our community. We have brought relevant and timely information to local and regional government to keep them current on our progress.
We have been instrumental in making sure street level communication occurs. Through the strengths and connections of our company, we have been able to provide incredibly effective media coverage for a community that had been forgotten. Through company connections in radio, television and print, we have been able to create the buzz that says “something is happening on Kerr Street”.
We quickly recognized that if you want something done, you just do it, and we have spearheaded local economic growth through the positive press created by our media department. Statistics show that economic growth has begun on Kerr Street. There are very few empty storefronts, there are three new condominiums being built. Housing costs have increased dramatically; traffic is stopping and shopping on Kerr Street.
We are firm believers in street level government. We recognize and respect how Maslow's Hierarchy impacts us all.
Maslow's Hierarchy according to ConnectUs.............
Basic Needs - At the lowest level are the Basic Needs - the needs of the body. These cover the needs for food, water, air, rest, exercise, shelter and etc. If these needs are not met, then these needs will assume a priority in the motivation of our behavior. A starving man can only think of food - similarly a frightened citizen of this new world can only think of the needs of his family and their safety. Here in Canada, most of us eat regularly, and have our basic needs met - the crisis in New York was a rude awakening for all of us - and we stopped taking those basic needs for granted. All of a sudden, we had a primary motivation for our basic needs to be met.......food, water, air, rest, exercise and shelter have become more important to us. As small business owners, we need to refocus our products and services and rise to meet the basic needs of our potential client base.
In our workshops we suggest you use lateral thinking as a creativity tool - how can we take Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and use it to increase our business potential? The following are a couple of examples of approaching our basic needs with a little lateral thinking:
When the Towers were hit - many of those in the Towers used their cell phones to assure their family that they were okay. Immediately following the tragedy, sales of cellular phones went up - not as a luxury item, but as a basic need. Lateral thinking – basic need – safety!
When the Towers were hit - and so many were lost, families mourned their losses and wished they had spent more time together. Family traditions suddenly become more important; there was a return to worship and to family ties. Sales of family related products have increased. Flags have been purchased to show solidarity for the “global family”. People have come together with common needs. Stress and panic attacks have run rampant - therapists, coaches and guides are needed to help us cope with our basic needs. The sale of candy and soup has risen dramatically - comfort foods - meeting our basic needs. Lateral thinking – basic needs – tradition – family!
Safety and Security - The next level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is Safety and Security. This is the protection against danger, and the threat of being deprived of things. The need is for the “fairest possible break”. If men are afraid - this is a basic motivator to look for products and services that will help conquer that fear. Think laterally - what will we need to look at differently in order to capitalize on the second level of Maslow's Hierarchy?
Sales have increased for security systems. We have seen an increase in sales for home alarms. Insurance policies have been investigated and realigned. Financial plans have been reconsidered and repositioned. Travel plans have been adjusted, with more conference calls. Video conferencing is on the rise. People are using a variety of transportation modes; sales have increased dramatically on passenger trains. Safety and Security have become more important and more saleable. What is your product or service - how can you position yourself and your business to move with the trend?
Social Needs - Once the first two levels of Maslow's Hierarchy have been met - we will once again see a rise in sales for our Social Needs. For the next few years we will see more cocooning, more time spent as a family. Our spending will be within a comfort level, which says - we want to be with family, friends and people we know. People like people who are like themselves - and they will buy from those people! There will be more relationship building - more time spent getting to know neighbours and colleagues. Social Needs will be home based, local and family orientated. More traditional games will be sold, more family dinners, with more holiday awareness, sales or products and services will be targeted towards the family and friends.
Egotistic Needs - The fourth level of Maslow's Hierarchy is Egotistic Needs - This was the level that satisfied the need to drive the big car, own the big house, and take the big vacation. With the tragedy of September 11th - our ego took a big nosedive - and we determined that “big” is not necessarily better. We began to rethink our needs - sales of cars, houses and vacations changed - we returned to many of our basic needs - where safety, dependability and family values played an important role in our purchasing. Divorces are down - marriages are up - meditation is a growing industry. We've seen a rush to move to the country – to a smaller, more friendly and safe community. We want to know whom we know, and whom they know.
Self Fulfillment - The fifth level of Maslow's Hierarchy is Self-Fulfillment - the need to realize one's potential, for continued self-development and for being creative in the broadest sense of the term. Today, many of us are too busy trying to satisfy the needs we have at the lower level and will not be spending our time or money on this level of development, unless it will provide us with the return we have to basic needs. We see spirituality on the rise, more self-improvement courses, increased customer service training, with networking and relationship building as a key component. We are getting to know ourselves and our colleagues on a more intimate level and it will be part of our Self-Fulfillment.
In today's world, identifying the need which motivates our customers and our clients is most important and by providing the right incentive, which is consistent with their needs - we will be successful.
With a little lateral thinking, we can look after their Hierarchy of Needs, according to Messer!
Develop strong beliefs in yourself and your community...so that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
Encourage a healthy attitude, where happiness and prosperity are your wish for every person you meet.
Be dependable and listen to the needs of others.
Look at the bright side of everything and instill your beliefs in others.
Think only of the best, work only with the best and expect only the best.
Be as enthusiastic about the success of others, as you are for yourself.
Forget the mistakes of the past and move forward to greater achievements in the future.
Wear a cheerful smile at all times, and share it with everyone you meet.
Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
Have the right attitude, too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Apply the creed by providing positive and rewarding opportunities within your community. Offer services that include youth, seniors, the disabled and the community at large. Sponsor local events and initiate new programs that will enrich the community. Believe in the community and the community will believe in itself.
A CIA believes in the community and the community thrives!
Become a CIA and share the Creed with your community.