nuts by herr_hartmann, on FlickrFocus: It ain’t easy. It is easy to lose sight of your vision through the pile of stuff you do to help create the change you believe in.

At the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Washington, DC, last week, Holly Ross said something that I’m repeating largely out of context. But her challenge resonates with me.

Change one person.

I’ve thought a lot about grassroots movements and how they move forward. And of course, my philosophy is that at the root of every cause is a nimbyist — someone who works to change the world around them because they believe we can do better.

But let’s face it: changing any corner of the world can take a lot of effort — whether it’s driven by a cause or just something around your office. There needs to be a place to start.

A movement in less than 5 minutes

One of my favourite TED Talks — and one of the shortest I’ve seen — is this one by Derek Sivers. Using shaky footage from an outdoor concert, he moves quickly to his point: The leader of a movement is somewhat overrated.

Don’t let the stuff distract you. Change doesn’t happen because everything is perfect; it begins because you change one person.

How would you start a movement?