Blog #9 – Zooming Forward

So, I ask you, as we zoom forward into some form of “hybrid” – what is your definition of that word?

Your answer would be greatly appreciated – jaymiller@blueconnect.org – as it will become (anomalously) part of the needed clarification for this communal discourse.

Two things for sure:

First, we are zooming forward, because the conversation – to zoom or not to zoom – includes and will continue to include many insistent voices on the necessity of retaining zoom options – their zoom options.

Second, this is a communal discourse. The zoom option the past year in those entities which are “community” based, has resulted in the engagement for increased numbers of constituents. Engaged constituents representing a much more diverse demographic.

The good news, the communal discourse has expanded.

The difficult aspect of the good news is that the coordinators of communal discourse and the participating constituents will need to gain new skill sets to effectively share in navigating the process. And for all we hear of people divided into two poles, that has always been true, but less apparent in a less vocal population. We are a widely divergent population.

This has been a year of “incident driven decisions” where anything that enabled us to move forward was applauded. Now we are transitioning to “design driven decisions” which must be enacted with a process which results in broad based acceptability for the long term.

Over the past year, we watched for the announcement of the day’s ad hoc procedures, knowing that revisions were on the way. That resulted in lots of innovations, responding to the moment. Some of those innovations are now assumed to be options available for any situation. When decisions are announced for the upcoming six months, or year, or the new norm, not everyone will reply with support. If what worked for them is missing, they will voice their objection.

Chief Professionals, Executive Directors and Boards of Directors will hear more comments about “standard operations procedures” than they are used to entertaining personally and within the governing process or the institution.

Zoom has expanded the scope of constituent engagement. That expanded scope of engagement will carry over to a sense of value and entitlement to sharing in the communal discourse.

A PROCESS FOR ZOOMING FORWARD – For the last four months, the radar I have acquired from lengthy academic training and professional experience in the realm of constituent engagement, has been pinging off the charts. What is happening? Current exchanges are outside the normal framework for input and decision making.

In the context of “incident driven decision” all is going well. In a significant number of realms, a greater number of people are sharing a greater amount of creative input. Systems, or parts of systems, and leaders in those systems are adapting in this revised environment, with a sense of welcoming, tolerating and adapting decision making.

But what about going forward? As the environments, modes of operation and reality driven exceptions return, what is going to be the balance? What will be the HYBRID between what was the norm and what have become new norms?

This is where I have been initiating conversations, specifically in congregations, on the necessity of an articulated process to guide “design driven decisions.” This needs to proceed a decision that will suddenly be announced with expectations of universal acceptance, in an environment in which the constituents have transitioned and the process has not.

If you are a constituent who is in a leadership role or not, now is the time to frame the decision making process which will answer an array way beyond the in-person and zoom hybrid. Zoom may have been the new form of our engagement. The content of our engagement has also found some new forms.

Where will zoom fit into the life of the congregation community? Where will so many other new forms fit into the life of our communities? For better or for worse? All for the better – if we do not trip over the worse.

There is lots of talk about the next phase.

If you want to talk now about the process for determining the next phase, please connect.

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