Focus Areas

This page is about the 25 focus areas of the "counterfear" idea.  They are foundations, starting points, fields, pillars, basics, foci, principles, building blocks, core competencies, essentials, keys, components.   The heart and soul.  The anchor points.  The focus areas heavily inform the Shift the Country work and may be helpful for those digging into that (see below).

Each focus area has a page with corresponding resources and blog posts; overviews for each page will be written as time allows.  Each focus area is also a tag, for sorting resources and blog posts via the dynamic CMS.  New resources will be added over time.

Counterfear Focus Areas:

1.  Don’t Panic
2.  Assess Situation & Resources
3.  Assess, Accept, & Address Risk
4.  Think Critically & Solve Problems
5.  Know & Learn & Train & Teach
6.  Find a Way Forward
7.  Live in Resonance
8.  Be Intentional & Purposeful
9.  Believe
10.  Anchor & Flank
11.  Plan
12.  Assemble a Toolbox
13.  Take Action
14.  Manage Incidents & Events
15.  Build Resilience
16.  Embrace Humanity
17.  Connect
18.  Foster Community
19.  Partner & Collaborate
20.  Facilitate Infrastructure Functionality, Continuity, & Resilience
21.  Increase Economic Resilience
22.  Build & Support Thriving Institutions
23.  Cultivate Creativity & Entrepreneurialism
24.  Be The Change
25.  Advocate & Amplify

There is a sister page of Core Resources, Ideas, & Tools that are inspiration for the counterfear idea and the 25 focus areas.

In general, if you are doing deep work, any of the 25 focus areas are a good spot to anchor to and work outward from. 

Start anywhere.  Pick one, pick several, or pick all of them.  They can be worked on in any order, and separately or together.  The numbered order below is for working through them in a deeper process, typically via coaching or consulting.  If you or your organization would like to work through some or all of these in more detail, check out our services page or contact us.

Shifting the Country & The Great Disruption

For the great disruption that is the coronavirus pandemic, the Shift the Country work on this site recommends four core focus areas for people and organizations to start with:

4.  Think Critically & Solve Problems
15.  Build Resilience
17.  Connect
18.  Foster Community

These areas were identified to help navigate the kind of massive disruption that we are now facing.  More background on that in these posts:  Why, The Great Transformation (the time that's now; in the COVID-19 pandemic), knowing a US catastrophe would be bad, and There Is No National Coordination System - There Are 12.  A full list of the back stories are here.

Where Did These Focus Areas Come From?

The focus areas were developed after much thought and discussion about what "counterfear" actually means, over several years.  Complex or "wicked" problems require deep problem-solving.  The challenge we have before us is a world where fear is being leveraged by many, through propaganda and other means.  Fear mobilizes.  The challenge to counter fear may be one of the greatest of our time.

These focus areas are intended to help with that challenge.  They are not the whole answer, but they are a start.  They are vast areas of thought and action where we can dig in and do meaningful work in the world.  Where we can bring order from some chaos.  Where we can find our way through wicked problems. 

These anchors can help us navigate the disruptions we cannot yet anticipate, and to create disruption where it is needed.  They can be used in our own lives, in our families, in our businesses, in our non-profits, and in our communities.  

That's the big picture.  More about how these 25 focus areas came forward (from a sea of thinking and notes) is in the blog post "Be the Storm:  Channeling Intensity."

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