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Nothing New: Adaptive Organizational Change!

Posted by Arlen Vernava on July 29, 2012

"By the 1840's, the structure of the American Jewish community ... had produced a religious revolution that overthrew the synagogue-communities and replaced a monolithic Judaism with one that was much more democratic, free, diverse, and competitive."  (American Judaism, Jonathan D. Sarna, pg 61)

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Topics: faith-based community

Sounds Like Transition Work?

Posted by Arlen Vernava on February 28, 2012

“One of the things that I’m constantly obsessed with is trying to get just the feeling of the balance between the right hand and the left hand and make it feel good.”

(Aaron Diehl, stride pianist and the 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz) 

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Topics: faith-based community

Your Good News: Buggy whips or Steering wheels?

Posted by Arlen Vernava on January 17, 2012

I drive a car with 225,000 miles under the hood and Mazda’s bones are feeling achy.  Here’s my conundrum.  Mazda:  faithful, dependable, (hasn’t missed a day since we met in 1997 except for regular maintenance), economical, safe and in it’s younger days, energetically fun.  Sadly, Mazda has less and less “get up and go,” blah curb appeal, noisy, and likes to drive in it’s own ruts (so to speak).  New tires, windshield wipers and a tune up?  Necessary, but they do not make for a 21st century Mazda.  My biggest fear?  One morning Mazda will start, then stop for the last time and I’ll have no sensible transportation plan.  What to do?  What to do?!  

If you are a leader in a congregation or organization with 225,000 miles on her, you have exclaimed:  What to do?  What to do?!  Memories, experiences, relationships.  Success, defeat, ecstatic joy, knee buckling sorrow.  You have been around the block with people and a “product” that matters to you.  New copy machine, steam-cleaned carpets and a revamped training program?  Necessary, but regular maintenance may not make for a vitally relevant “now.” And though “decline” often measures in decades, not years (for long established congregations and organizations), that day will arrive.  What to do?!  Consider...

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Topics: business, faith-based community

Just My Type: The Vision Thing

Posted by Arlen Vernava on January 10, 2012

Just My Type, a wonderfully inventive jaunt through the history and current use of fonts, really understands the vision thing, and I mean that both literally and figuratively.  Fonts are everywhere.  Write a vision statement:  font.  Express a vision statement in such a way that passer-byes look twice, stop and say, "I want some of that": a font that works really well. A vision statement that goes viral?  A font by only one name:  the vision statement!

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Topics: faith-based community

"On the first day of Christmas, my Intentional Interim gave to me..."

Posted by Arlen Vernava on December 20, 2011

 

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Topics: faith-based community

Give and you shall receive? Yes to generosity & sacrifice!

Posted by Arlen Vernava on December 13, 2011

Give and You Shall Receive? Generosity, Sacrifice, and Marital Quality  

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Topics: nonprofit, faith-based community

Unity with diversity? Absolutely!

Posted by Arlen Vernava on December 5, 2011

At their beginning just after the Civil War, founders of Sigma Chi fraternity noted how existing college brotherhoods sought “like minded men.”  They believed, instead that:  “true brotherhood could prosper only when men of unlike minds, talents and personalities banded themselves together under a common set of ideals.”

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Topics: faith-based community

The Magnificently Difficult: It Must Be Interim Time!

Posted by Arlen Vernava on November 28, 2011
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Topics: faith-based community

Self-differentiationed leaders and organizations - always needful!

Posted by Arlen Vernava on November 21, 2011
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Topics: faith-based community

Generous Hospitality - Yes!

Posted by Arlen Vernava on November 7, 2011

Is your organization or congregation known for it’s generous hospitality?  Answer from the inside-out and most leaders will say “Of course we are!” Hear the answer from the outside looking in and the reality check often tempers earlier assessments.  Generous hospitality welcomes through the eyes of the beholder and we all function inside-out and outside-in, of course.  A colleague shared this story from the outside-in perspective. 

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Topics: faith-based community