Resourcing that Aligns with our Values: August 2021 Integrity Conversation

Creating the Future's
Integrity Meeting:
Monday, August 9th, from 10am - 12pm Pacific time

Applying the Integrity lens to resourcing our work

Watch the meeting LIVE at this post. Just scroll to the very bottom of the page.
Details about how to participate are below.

Applying the Integrity Lens to Resourcing:
This month, our Integrity Body (known in most organizations as the board) will take up one of the most important tests of our focus on Integrity: Resourcing our work.

At our May meeting, the board determined that they will know if something is aligned with our values if it is following Catalytic Thinking - in the planning and the execution of that plan (read a summary of that discussion here).

At our June meeting, we sought to apply that approach to a new program. From that discussion, two things became clear. One was the ongoing push and pull of living in a space of inquiry, guided by values - instead of the norm of a space guided by rules and shoulds. The other, though, was the reality of two key conditions for the success of this organization:

1) Succession planning, and
2) Resource development.

To date, the work of Creating the Future has been led by the founders, Hildy and Dimitri. This is very common in the early years of an organization, where the founders almost instinctively instill the vision and values of the organization into everything the group touches.

To scale the potential of our impact, though, we must institute systems and infrastructure that doesn't require the ongoing efforts of the founders. As Hildy often reminds us, we are all mortal, and none of us knows when our time will come. At this key moment in Creating the Future's development, it is critical that we move beyond dependency on one or two individuals.

To accomplish Creating the Future's potential will therefore require adding staff to fill many of the roles Hildy and Dimitri have led to date - not as volunteers on stipend wages, but hiring full time staff to take on the full time work of this effort.

Which brings us to the topic of resourcing that effort.

Since its inception, Creating the Future has stood firm in its belief that current funding systems are a big part of what is keeping organizations from accomplishing their potential. The idea that people with money ultimately make decisions about what will get funded - and therefore get done - means that the people closest to the problem are often forced to mold themselves to the wishes of people who are far removed from those issues, all in the name of getting funded.

Creating the Future has, since the beginning, refused to step into that arena.

Our first discussions about this topic started before we even had our tax exemption. You can read some of that thinking here and here and here.

The result of those discussions was the decision to self-fund - relying on teams of committed volunteers making only stipend wages (Hildy and Dimitri currently take home $500 apiece per month. Yes, you read that right. And our faculty have generously worked their tails off for not much more than that.).

Whatever income was necessary for running classes, putting out the eJournal, traveling to do workshops and convenings, and everything else Creating the Future has accomplished (including supporting the board in its own explorations re: governance) was all self-generated from classes and public speaking, along with a handful of generous individuals who provide monthly support. All this, while we continued to consider what it would take to align funding with our values.

Since that time, the board has codified its primary focus as "integrity to our values." As an organization whose mission is to experiment with more effective approaches to systems change, this is now perhaps the most important experiment we can be focused on.

And as always, you are invited to have your voice be part of this conversation, in whatever way you feel comfortable (see the various ways you can participate below).

How to Prepare
First, let us know if you plan to attend by sending a note at this link. Per the "How to participate" section below, please let us know which of the 3 ways you would like to participate.

Second, if you are not familiar with Catalytic Thinking or the Integrity functions of our board, the following will be helpful:

For those who think visually, this PDF graphic of the Catalytic Thinking Framework will give you an understanding of the flow of the conversation. For those who work best with text, you can follow along with the questions that guide Catalytic Thinking at this link. We recommend having these pieces available during the meeting, to spark your thinking during the discussion.

To get a sense of the context of our Integrity Board, this post introduces our thinking about that.

3 Ways to participate

If you have never been part of Creating the Future's work, all our strategy and board meetings are open and participatory, for anyone who wants to be part of the discussion. You can see more about that at this link.

Where we meet:

The board meeting will take place right here at this post. If the video does not appear precisely on time, please be patient – we are probably just running a few minutes late.

There are 3 ways you can participate in our meetings.

  • If you are already familiar with and committed to Creating the Future’s work, and you would like to be actively involved in the meeting discussion side-by-side at our online “meeting table,” let us know, and we will send you an invitation to join us online. Read more here about what it means to participate in that way.
  • If you want to participate but are unable to be in the meeting itself (perhaps you’re at work, or maybe at home with kids running around, etc.), watch the live-stream in real time and tweet your questions and ideas to us via the hashtag #CreatingTheFuture. We read those tweets aloud during the meeting, just as if you were there. This is a great first step for those who are not as familiar with our work, but want to get more involved.

(Please note: We will only see your tweets if you use the #CreatingTheFuture hashtag. In addition, during the meeting, we will not look at blog comments here at this post. While we will check those comments later, during the meeting we will only be following the #CreatingTheFuture hashtag in the Twitter stream.)

  • Lastly, if you want to simply watch, or you want to think about what you’re hearing and respond later – or if you will be watching the recording after the meeting happens – please add your thoughts into the comments here at this post. We will include that thinking into the mix of things.

We look forward to your being part of our discussion on Monday, August 9th!

* All Creating the Future's board meetings are open for anyone to participate, or to watch afterwards. To learn more about the thinking behind this openness - and our experiences with being open - click here.

Logistics: The meeting will happen right here at this post. Details are below.

Watch the meeting HERE on Monday
Note: if the meeting does not start on time please be patient as we may be running a few minutes late.

or, After the meeting - LISTEN TO THE MEETING HERE

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(To download to your hard drive, right-click {or click and hold on a Mac} on the link above and select "Save Target As".. or "Save Link as"... depending on your browser)

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