Stage 3: Oh!The Moment of Oh! is the key stage where a person pivots from understanding the problem to a desire to solve the problem. The leader’s action when a person reaches the Moment of Oh! varies depending on how many community members have arrived at the Moment of Oh!

When many members of the community, including those with diverse perspectives, have reached the Moment of Oh!, the community is ready to move to solution development. Beware, however, that many community members arriving at this stage at the same time is not the norm.

Typically there is a small but growing number of people who, once they reach the Moment of Oh!, have the desire and the need to act. The community can’t, however, proceed to solution development until more people arrive at this stage.

A fundamental question that can help others arrive at the Moment of Oh! is this: “What will happen if we do nothing about this issue?” When the consequences of doing nothing are deemed unacceptable to an individual, he or she has arrived at the Moment of Oh!

The leader should first acknowledge an individual’s Moment of Oh! and desire to act. Understanding the basis for the Moment of Oh! is valuable in getting other people to arrive as well. It is therefore useful to help the individual articulate how and why he or she arrived at the Moment of Oh! and to encourage him or her to help other community members follow the path to the Moment of Oh! We call this leaving tracks, which we describe in more detail later as one of the seven core principles.

Characteristics of a person in the Oh! stage:

  • impatient for action
  • has a solution
  • impatient with others who haven’t “gotten it” yet

What the person needs to proceed to the next stage:

  • a path to deciding on a solution
  • something to do while waiting for others in the community to get to the Moment of Oh!

How the leader can help:

  • Affirm the person’s Moment of Oh!
  • Ask the person how he or she would like to be involved in the solution.
  • Help individuals describe their individual paths to the Moment of Oh! so others can follow.
  • Ask individuals about the consequences of doing nothing.

— Previous book post: Stage 2: No!

— Next up: Stage 4: Whoa!

Greg Ranstrom and John Blakinger are authors of the new  book The Moment of Oh! a guide to help communities make tough decisions. (edit)