Thursday, 28 September 2017 06:38

Small communities are offered a helping hand

Written by  Demi Knight
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Small communities often struggle to remain strong within the ever-fluctuating economic system. However, one man is making it his goal to help these communities thrive.


With more than 13 years experience working with the government, and multiple years prior working as a rancher and a teacher for three years, Doug Griffiths, 44, has a wealth of knowledge to offer and he plans on sharing it.
After the tremendous success of his former novel, 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, and it becoming a national bestseller, Griffiths has released a new book that continues to tackle head on the problem of small communities resistant to change.
As founder and CEO of the consulting firm 13 Ways Inc., Griffiths believes there is nothing more rewarding than helping small communities create positive changes that allow them to thrive within today’s society.
“Often times small towns forget what makes them different and unique and instead they try to be like everyone else and that’s how they lose what makes them special and their competitive advantage,” Griffiths says after being asked why small communities are important to the overall population.
Griffiths, 44, has accumulated a lot of knowledge over the past including a rather distinguished, although relatively brief provincial political career (2004-2015), where as a Progressive Conservative MLAfor Battle River-Wainwright, Griffiths was named minister of municipal affairs in 2011 and in 2013 was named minister of Service Alberta.
Throughout his new book, Griffiths works to show the audience in a direct manner that attitude and willingness to adapt is key to a small town’s ultimate success.
Griffiths was born in Coronation, a community of 960 in the County of Paintearth (No. 18)which is just west of Special Areas 4.
When asked about the new edition of his book, Griffiths said the content hasn’t so much changed from his initial ideas, but he has more expanded upon them to incorporate additional stories and personal aspects.
“After my first book nothing failed, it’s just that most communities didn’t try,” he explains. “It’s like a funnel. Everyone wants change, but nobody follows through with it. Overall, we wind up failing because we only identify what’s wrong and the people who need to fix it, without realizing we are the people, and the solution starts with us.”
Griffiths believes small towns are key to overall success and that by learning how to market themselves and be willing to accept and create change, any community can not only survive, but thrive within its surroundings.
“It starts with us. We need to recognize we have a problem, be willing to change to make that problem better and follow through on actions to relieve the problem. We have to notice our strengths and use them as a competitive advantage,” Griffiths says.
However, his passion for helping build up small communities goes long past his books. As well as being a highly-regarded public speaker and community therapist, Griffiths has also founded his own company that works solely on the same matter.
“I’m just so passionate about it. I truly believe communities can always thrive, but our biggest fail in 90 per cent of the population is that we spend more time complaining than actually doing.”
The second edition of 13 Ways to Kill Your Community is now available for purchase. More information is available at: https://www.13ways.ca.

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