Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Spirit of Institutions" Open House and Update: Sept. 30, 2009

It has been about a year since I left my full-time job and set aside time to learn about the spirit of institutions. I've been exploring how organizations can be led more by their mission than by ego. It is time for a party and report-back about what I've been learning. I want to engage with many of you to introduce you to each other, tell some stories from my year, and get your feedback about the transformation of organizations. I'll also "unveil" where this learning is leading me in the upcoming year. I welcome those of you that are friends, colleagues, and those of you who are just curious about the topic.

When: Wednesday, September 30, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Where: Minneapolis Friends Meeting, 4401 York Ave. So., Minneapolis (Linden Hills neighborhood)
What: Open house and update about Michael's Spirit of Institutions journey
RSVP requested, but not required: Facebook event page or or 612-234-1122.

Please put it on your calendar. More details about the event to come.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Learning from Marnita's Table about creating sacred spaces

For several years, I've heard about Marnita's Table, which hosts large multicultural dinner parties and intentional conversations. For all their events, they make sure that at least 50% of the guests are people of color, and at least 50% are living below the poverty line. They seem to have mastered the art of creating atmospheres that are deeply diverse, fun, and transformative. I had the chance to interview Marnita Schroedl from the Table, to talk about how their methods for creating sacred spaces can work in the transformation of organizations and communities.

We serve 2,000 people in our home each year / what we are going for is world peace / we're trying to break out of a limited religious, civic, or corporate definition of the sacred / we're going to have to find a way to change our culture from the inside

More video clips from the interview:

I came out of the foster care system, and only recently have I realized how much that formed my view of the world / How many people feel like they are outside the window? / Almost everyone feels like they have their face up to the glass and aren't having an authentic experience

Story of 2 men who met at the Table / the deeply personal is sacred space / there is a communion that happens / before we can do something together, we have to stand in relationship with one another

If we try to measure it, it changes the outcome / we don't know, in advance, which relationships will become the most meaningful

One of the best ways to build community is to build a table / we don't share the same religion or culture, but everyone has to eat / people have a high need to come together in celebration and ceremony

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Quiz: What is the Spiritual Character of Your Organization?

Think of an organization that you are a part of (workplace, church, school, etc.) and answer these 10 questions with that organization in mind. The results of the quiz will then show you if your organization is more like a geyser, the Badlands, Mt. Rainer, the San Juan Islands, or the Corn Palace.


After you take the quiz:
Here are the descriptions of each type of organization. Read them all and decide which one fits best.