Shifting Mindsets in Small Towns with Joe Bartmann

Today’s guest is Joe Bartmann, President of Dakota Resources, an organization that helps rural communities help themselves through innovative processes, tools, training, and research. He joins the show to chat about how small towns can begin shifting their mindsets to embrace creativity, innovation, and the belief that everyone should love the town they live in.

Listen to this Small Town Big Talk Show Episode:

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Shifting Mindsets in Small Towns Episode Summary:

On the show today, Joe shares several examples from his background in rural economic development to illustrate how the traditional ways of thinking won’t serve small communities going forward. As a professional dedicated to helping small communities thrive, he offers many examples of how to embrace new ways of thinking and set our communities up to be successful in the future.

About Joe Bartmann

As President of Dakota Resources, Joe combines his passion for rural economic and community development with his deep experience in community building, systems thinking, group processes, leadership and innovation. He served as Vice President of Community Innovation at Dakota Resources for three years before being selected to lead the organization alongside an empowered team of people.  

Joe’s visionary style, honesty and diversified skillset allow him to bring out the best in the people around him and to continually evolve, learn and grow alongside them. He is excited about the direction rural is taking and is ready to help Dakota Resources blaze new trails for a better, more impactful future. 

In this episode, we tackle…

Why is supporting entrepreneurship and small business owners so important in small communities?

The people who choose to start a business in a small town have a level of commitment and dedication to the community that larger businesses just won’t have. Joe makes the case for small towns to shift their focus away from trying to “catch the big fish” and instead to invest the resources into the people who are already in the community.

How do we overcome the “us v. them” that exists between small town leadership and the rest of the community?

The first thing is to acknowledge that there isn’t really an “us v. them” and it’s just an illusion. The people who are in the traditional roles of leadership in a small town took those positions to support their community and see it grow. Part of building this bridge is to acknowledge that you’re all working towards the same goal.

Listen to this episode to hear more about:

💥 What a “not-knower” is and why we should all become one

💥  Why it’s so important to embrace failure in small towns

💥  How to quit looking around for a “somebody” in your community

💥  The difference between having a scarcity and abundance mindset 

Connect with Joe

Dakota Resources Website:

Community Learning Network:


(Save the date for RuralX next year—June 17 and 18, 2020 in Mitchell, SD!)


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