Tuesday, July 03, 2012

About to Get Started - Tue., July 3

From General Convention

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

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"St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas"

Today's Update from General Convention

We're still a day away from convening, but the Indianapolis Convention Center is

The Exhibit Hall opened at noon.  Committee Chairs, officers, and other appointees
met for a couple of long training sessions.  Afterward there was an interesting
session on "technical" and "adaptive" change.  I've got some notes from that session

A group of Senior Deputies trained to help resource less experienced deputies so
 the work on the floor goes smoother.

Let me give you some links to places that will give you more complete information
about the Convention:

The General Convention Home Page:  www.generalconvention.org

Live tracking of Legislation:  www.generalconvention.org/gc/resolutions?by=cat
 - (if you want to follow some specific legislation,this is the place to do that)

The Media Hub:  http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/gc2012 - a lot of info of various kinds

The House of Deputies daily blog: http://houseofdeputies.org/housework/ - House
   President Anderson has asked some deputies to post their reflections each day.

My committee is Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music, Committee #13.  We start
at 8:00 in the morning and work until noon tomorrow.  So far we have 30 resolutions.
 We also have 312 pages of material from the Blue Book Report of the Standing Commission
on Liturgy and Music.  I'm sure we'll have more resolutions before the filing deadline
5:00 p.m. Friday.  We will act on every resolution between now and the 13th.
This evening I had dinner with some guests from Africa and their hosts.  I got to
sit next to the Rev. Mote Magomba, a priest of the Diocese of Ruaha in the Anglican
Church of Tanzania.  He is the founder and director of FISCH--Future for Iringa
Street Children, a project seeking to transform their society through ministry to
poor orphans and vulnerable children.   Mote is also director of the Amani Christian
Training Centre in Iringa, teaching ministers, job skills, and scripture.  An inspiring
and delightful leader.

Technical and Adaptive Change

A couple of leaders in the House of Deputies offered a session for the Structure
 Committee, the Program, Budget & Finance Committee, and other committee chairs.
  Part of the session dealt with some of the ideas of Ron Heifetz about understanding
the difference between technical problems and adaptive challenges.

I'll try to reproduce a chart that outlines the theory:

Challenge        /  Problem Definition /  Solution / Locus of Work

Technical        /   Clear                        /  Clear    /  Authority

Technical        /  Clear                        / Requires  / Authority &
& Adaptive                                            Learning     Stakeholders

Adaptive         / Requires learning   / Requires  /  Stakeholders

A technical challenge might be creating the room assignments and facilitating resources
for 20 committees to meet.  The problem can be clearly defined and a solution clearly
mapped out by leaders with the authority to accomplish it.

A technical & adaptive challenge might be the work of defining what the church's
 operating income is is or creating the budget.  The problem is clear, but the solution
may require some creative learning.  It will need to be addressed not only by some
authorities, but also by stakeholders, including those contributing money to the
 budget and the various ministries that are financed.

An adaptive challenge might be some of the ongoing conversations about who belongs
to the church and how to they become incorporated, who should receive communion,
 or what is the meaning of confirmation.  Understanding and defining the problem
 and solving it requires learning.  And a vast array of stakeholders need to be
in the conversation.

Leaders and systems often rush to a technical fix  for an adaptive challenge.  When
we're anxious we want to rush to fix it, make it better, make it go away.

Leadership is:  the activity of mobilizing people to tackle the toughest problems
and motivate people in taking care of them

Adaptive change
   enables the capacity to thrive
   builds on the past rather than jettison it
   occurs through experimentation
   relies on diversity of thought
   signficantly rearranges some old DNA
   takes time

It includes Capacity:  ability to manage anxiety over time

It is a spiritual work of transformation involving loss, risk, and trust. 
And it must involve our own changes of minds and hearts.  Having the courage
and patience to lead a system through adaptive change is critical for any
organization's health and vitality.



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