Mission vs. Vision LO26887

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@gold.up.ac.za)
Date: 06/25/01

Replying to LO26848 --

Dear Organlearners,

LJ Stevens <maverick@pinn.net> writes

>With absolutely no offense meant to AT or anyone
>else, I learned long ago that what fascinates me on
>the speculative/philosophical level almost never preaches
>on Sunday. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way.
>Seems I bored more than one congregation with DPhil
>candidate lectures in contemporary, philosophical
>theology that my Oxford supervisor would have loved,
>but which literally put the congregation to sleep... for
>extended periods of time. (I was both boring and
>long-winded in those days. ...)

Greetings dear LJ(?),

That it happens in a congregation too, is most tragic for me.

It often happen in ours. But there is a remedy. I am the one of all
memebers who cannot keep awake. Sooner or later I fell asleep and then
begin to snore loudly to the delight of those around me, the anger of the
preacher and the embarressment of my family.

During our weekly, evening Bible study meetings it is completely
different. I might be so tired at that time of the evening that should I
sit down for 5 minutes doing nothing, I will fell asleep like the dead.
However, for an hour or more, I am completely awake and participate in
even the finest detail of the study. It is because of the incredible team
learning going on during these studies as well as the Mission@Vision which
we share.

I avoid meetings where I suspect things can become boring. I either fell
asleep snoring or get so worked up that I want to light fires. (See eg. my
recent contribution on Shared Vision or Sharing Cliches.) About a year ago
I could not avoid with even the best excuse the inaugural lecture of a new
dean at another university. Once again that lecture was so boring that I
fell asleep and snored loudly. About two weeks ago I visited again, after
many times, that faculty. Many still greeted me with: "Man, your snoring
is the best comment ever which I will never forget on that lecture which
nobody can remember."

But back to organisations in general. I feel extremely sad when, after I
have established sufficient openness with a person, ask that person how
he/she experiences work, and the answer is "It is boring and sometimes
even nasty, but I manage to earn a salary."

It happened about three months ago when I visisted as an elder a new
family in our congregation. The woman worked for a national bank of which
its Mission and Vision are displayed prominently in the foyer of all its
major braches. It may be called an isolated case, were it not for the fact
that in the some six previous months I talked to two other people working
for the same bank and giving me the same answer.

Something is deeply wrong with an organisation when its workers admit
honestly answers like: "It is boring and sometimes even nasty, but I
manage to earn a salary." Even by taking into account your gentle caution:

>Again, no offense meant to anyone, but the
>illustration "preaches" to my target audience
>better than speculative debate. Ergo, despite
>being fully aware of its limitations, I use the
>illustration anyway.

I think that it is something going far deeper that what can be corrected
by any wording, few and shocking or many and boring. A M&V
(Mission&Vision) will work for those having the spiritual "free energy" to
organise themselves according to the M&V. But I think that a M&V cannot
ever restore the spiritual "free energy" of any person when it has become
depleted. No, I have to put it stronger -- I am very sure that neither the
M&V, nor any other kind of document, will ever restore the depleted
spiritual "free energy" of a person, with one exception below.

When everybody has participated in formulating that document and everybody
has complete concensus with every word and the manner of formulation of
the wording, then this process of formulating such a document will
recharge the spiritual "free energy" of everybody involved. But here we
have to exclude any new comers after the document has been drawn up. LJ,
you will recognise this process in the confessions of faith which abounded
the Christain church after every age of low spiritual "free energy".

But here is the snag! It is the same for Judaism, Muslim and Hindu
religions as well as Buddhism. In other words, it has to do with the
process by which people draw up a "document of consensual intent" rather
than whatever is informed within that document. If an organisation can
follow this process of drawing up its M&V, then it will recharge the
spiritual "free energy" of its members who participated for some time.

Since it cannot sustain the "free energy" forever and since newcomers did
not have the benefit of participating in the formulating of the M@V, it
will be a good idea to repeat the process when the ebb is low or too many
newcomers do not care anymore for the M&V. But I will never advise it to
be repeated regularly -- that would be adding insult to injury.

Thank you for your wisdom to point to the dynamics of the M&V so that
we not merely stare us blind at its mechanics.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <amdelange@gold.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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