Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19, 2009

Message From the Chair Emeritus—Richard Johanson
Is there anything more American than October and the excitement of all of the festivities surrounding the World Series? While baseball may be our national pastime, I would submit that for many of us it does not overshadow our year around determination to win our own pennant by leaving this a better place than we found it. Most of us can only superficially try to comprehend all of the good work taking place in our community as we have learned the skills of collaboration and the power of shared visions. To attempt to do so is to begin to understand the depth of the commitment of all of those who care enough to give so much. As we watch the progression over the next couple of weeks to see which team shall emerge as our baseball champions, let’s not overlook our own champions among us who work unendingly without public acknowledgement in creating a brighter tomorrow for all who are among us and will come after. They are our real heroes.

Embodying the Community Values Through Insight and Practice
As a way to deepen our understanding of Community Values and strengthen our resolve to act in accordance with them, at each board meeting we discuss one of them. At last week’s meeting, Hal Bolen offered some thoughts about the value “Commitment to Resolving Conflict.” The value’s description notes that conflict is inevitable as we have differing world views and life experiences. It also acknowledges that conflict is often required to achieve the best outcome. The challenge is learning the skills to use conflict as an asset to help clarify a strategy or build motivation. As part of his presentation, Hal offered 8 steps to resolve conflict: 1) Know thyself and take care of self, 2) Clarify personal needs threatened by the dispute, 3) Identify a safe place for negotiation, 4) Take a listening stance into the interaction, 5) Assert your needs clearly and specifically, 6) Approach problem-solving with flexibility, 7) Manage impasse with calm, patience and respect, 8) Build an agreement that works. Imagine how quickly positive changes would happen if we all mastered the art of conflict resolution. By doing so, we would “be the change” and help spread this skill throughout the community.

FBC Board Endorses CA Forward 2010 Reform Plan
So often when we blame people, the real problem is context and structure. The CA Forward reforms are intended to insure that community interests are placed ahead of single interests, protect local funding and deliver better outcomes. Other states and successful businesses have already shifted to results based budgets and a focus on long term, collaborative strategies. This thinking has also moved to the local level in some cities, regions and counties. The shift will allow cities, counties, school districts and others to work together to solve community problems and overcome the industrialized, silo model of thinking, funding and acting that has prevented innovation and collaboration for so long. “If you can achieve your goal alone; your vision is too small.” For more information, the CA Forward website is

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