For the last few months, we've been using the tag line of Participation > Observation in our Engage Alamance series. The intent was simple. Encourage participation over observation; a pretty simple concept. To show up. To listen. To be there.We're mothballing that tag line. Not because the premise is bad or it didn't resonate. But because we've moved on. Participation is showing up to the party. It's bringing a gift, or telling someone else you're glad to be there. It's smiling and hugging the host. That's participation, at its minimal level. It's time for Action > Conversation.I've been in far, far too many meetings lately. Meetings where it's suggested to continue the conversation. Where it's encouraged to circle back in a couple months and 'restart' the discussion. Or worse... the suggestion to send a doodle poll, to call a meeting, to have another conversation... about creating a 'task force'... to explore the problem. I'm about as non-military as you can get. But I know a good battle ready quote when I see one. "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." General Patton and I agree on that. Going off completely half-cocked doesn't work. You need a shared vision, clarity of purpose, and an agreed-upon structure. Otherwise, it's chaos for the sake of activity. But polishing your rifle and talking about what constitutes the 'perfect plan' while others are storming the beach isn't gonna fare too well either. Your perfect plan might have been great, but it just got its teeth kicked in by good-enough action. The simple truth is that starting is the first step. Start now. Start next week. Start next year. The only real difference between each of those is how many days are going to elapse in between, and what else might change between now and then. Strategy is useful. But it's also only good at the moment it was created. Ultimately it's forward momentum that wins the day. Pivot, course correct, change tack, insert whatever euphemism you need for 'I decided we weren't quite on course, so I adjusted based on the reality I met in the field.' Even if some of those calls aren't quite on point, you're sure as hell beating the person sitting in their tent, re-plotting their plan to the point of perfection. And it definitely beats the group still talking about meeting to decide what to.... talk about. Alamance County as a whole has opportunities, and it has risks. It lags the state and its neighbors in a lot of very real, very important metrics. It suffers from a lack of place attachment for a lot of its members; a common problem for what many would call a "bedroom" community.It also has a vibrant agricultural economy, sits equidistant between the second and third largest population centers in the state, and has a history of entrepreneurial innovation. It has numerous place based assets ready for repurposing to a new era. And it has 165,000 different people sleeping here each night with their own passions, their own creativity, and their own dreams. We don't have an opportunity problem. We have an action problem. Weather changes, the world turns, and things sometimes go sideways. But conversations are just sitting on the porch commenting on the weather going by.It's time to go violently execute a good plan, instead of waiting for the perfect plan that's never going to come. Join us August 15th as we start executing that plan.