On the blogs, Robin Mohr wrote about Friends leadership and vision and the “Nakedness/You’re Not a Quaker” responses continue with two more follow-up’s among this week’s Editor Picks. Elsewhere, the Modern Quakers and Clothing project has been collecting some great personal stories. And on a housekeeping note, donations for QuakerQuaker have been pretty light lately; please consider helping out.
Naked Leadership? [QuakerQuaker This Week, 2/26/12] – QuakerQuaker
On the blogs, Robin Mohr wrote about Friends leadership and vision and the Nakedness/You’re Not a Quaker responses continue with two more f…
Most Saturday nights find me following my wife to St Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Millville NJ. I’m often chasing kids and this Saturday was no exception. Tonight I snapped as I chased. Most of these shots have a tousled head just off camera. It’s a nice little church. You can learn more at their website at http://www.stnicholasmillville.com.
In album St Nicholas 2/25/12 (8 photos)
The interior from the balcony.
In her latest post at http://robinmsf.blogspot.com/2012/02/vision.html, +Robin Mohr asks for “stories of Quaker leaders and committees/organizations that have functioned well together.”
It was in college that I first heard Max Weber’s idea that bureaucracies grow to eventually see their own maintenance as their prime objective (Wikipedia has a section on Weberian bureaucracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureaucracy#Weberian_bureaucracy). At the time I assumed we were talking about governments but it didn’t take long in the nonprofit world to see the phenomenon alive there as well. Resources go to the programs that can attract the biggest donor attention. Committee discernment gets short-circuited. Internal benchmarks become the measure even if the are disconnected from actual effect or mission. If a need arises from outside of the boundaries of the internal structures, it is ignores: there’s little incentive to address it.
The only real solution is to keep remembering why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s the practice of self-reflection, it’s the exercise of asking what we might be called to. Perhaps this is a leader’s real job description.
I’ve been thinking again lately of the way the Society of Friends responded to the Tom Fox kidnapping, a story I recounted in “Why Would a Quaker Do a Crazy Thing Like That”(http://www.quakerranter.org/2006/06/why_would_a_quaker_do_a_crazy/). I think the underwhelming response was mostly a failure of imagination. Too many of the organizations in question had settled themselves into narrowly-defined mission silos of their own making. They didn’t know what to make of the situation. I’d like to hope that a Rufus Jones or Howard Brinton would have cut through the slack, and I am encouraged at some recent conversations I’ve had with some emerging leaders, but as a student of history I know these are eternal problems that are always ready to return.
My theory of media and social change is that 90% of the time we’re talking amongst ourselves, inviting people in to the conversation and building an infrastructure of community. It’s one-on-one work, slow, people intensive (but then that’s what makes it enjoyable, right?). The fruits of this labor become visible with unexpected opportunities – those times when we’re called on by a larger public to explain ourselves or describe the world as we see it. If we’ve been doing our background work – planting the seeds that is the people of our community – then we will be ready to step up to the challenge. If we’re not, opportunity slips away.
The history of Friends – maybe the history of the church universal – is one of missed opportunities; the miracle of faith is that sometimes we connect with one another in the love that is God and lay some more bricks and mortar for God’s kingdom on Earth.
What Canst Thou Say?: Vision
Without vision, the people perish. Mostly because they get eaten by tigers they didn’t see coming. Isn’t that a joke from Calvin & Hobbes? I’ve been thinking a lot about vision lately….
The wandering worship group came early to hold extended worship and Helene Pollock and Michael Gibson led a post-worship exercise on “the love of God.”
In album Haddonfield Friends, 2nd Month 19 (5 photos)
Michael Gibson & Helene Pollock lead an adult class on “the love of God.”
Godin tends to be too enamored by big ideas for my tastes, but there’s a few ideas in here worth chewing over, specifically how the forced-scarcity of traditional book publishing is giving way to nearly infinite electronic bookshelves.
The structures of books certainly are bounded by the forms of their marketing. One limitation Godin doesn’t mention is the 64 page minimum – this is what you need to be able to put a spine on the book, am essential feature if it’s to show up bookstore shelves. One of my trickiest typesetting assignments back in my nonprofit publishing career was to stretch a 40 page essay to 64 so it could be a book. I used all the tricks of a desperate first year student with class twenty minutes off (the book went on to become one of our bestsellers, if I could have stretched it 96 pages we might have remained solvent).
This book just exaggerated a common phenomenon. Many of our authors had a few great insights that could be adequately shared in the first few chapters. The rest of the books wouldn’t just be my calorie-free margins. There were enougn words to fill up a book but after 70 or 90 pages the reader would have read the most original content and could safely put the book down in the “to be finished later” pile.
Free of book limitations – and book selling limitations – most of these works would habe been far different. some of the more basic questions will remain with us: how do we get our works into the hands of readers, and how we pay the rent while doing it?
The end of paper changes everything – The Domino Project
Not just a few things, but everything about the book and the book business is transformed by the end of paper. Those that would prefer to deny this obvious truth are going to find the business they lo…
Sounds like a therapy that can get pretty expensive pretty quickly, and the article shares concerns about just how helpful all of these might be. Still, I have to admit it’s pretty amazing to watch my 6yo playing the reading games on reasdingeggs.com website and he’s pretty instinctive with the touchscreen of my smart phone.
Using apps to help treat autism | Macworld
Some parents of autistic children see benefits from the use of apps and technology; however, experts raise concerns.