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Archive for January, 2009


Machiavelli says…

“There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things…Whenever his enemies have the ability to attack the innovator, they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly, so that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable.”  – Niccolo Machiavelli

I’ve not only seen this play out in real life, but personally experienced it.  People really are slow, even sluggish, to come to the defense of the innovator.  They don’t mind that she is sticking her neck out and they even strongly encourage it, but out of a desire to preseserve themselves the encouragers of innovation fail to show the same passion publicly.  
People must be willing to put their signature on the line, and be called out by name to all who would hear that the innovation has their full support.
I think back to the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show.  The Blue-ray and HD-DVD war was still hot, and there was much discussion about which format would win.  The day before Toshiba was to make a big announcement that a major film production company had signed an exclusive agreement to put their films on HD-DVD, they publicly backed out.  The big party Toshiba had planned was instead cancelled at the last minute, and within weeks they had cut all research and development and production into HD-DVD.  I believe the cost to the company was one billion dollars.
From that moment on Blue-ray has been the only format mentioned, and while HD-DVD may still have some other applications you will not find a movie at Blockbuster or Netflix in HD-DVD format.
HD-DVD was indeed an innovation, and Toshiba led, but because they failed to partner with others willing to allow their necks to be at risk it cost them a billion.
The church won’t lose a billion dollars, but as innovators we must continually be as cunning as a snake when it comes to promoting and implementing all of those good ideas.  We should never be deceitful, but should always make sure we’re not the only ones willing to die.  Otherwise the church will suffer from the loss of an innovator, and from the growth the change would have catalyzed.

Send a letter to President Obama via IJM

Dear Robert,

The inauguration of President Barack Obama has historic significance that citizens across the political spectrum can appreciate and celebrate. With at least nine new Senators and 52 new Congressional Representatives coming to Capitol Hill, change is in the air in Washington.

But there are some things that haven’t changed. Beyond our borders, the poorest of the poor are victimized by violent crime – sexual violence, slavery, trafficking, police brutality, and property theft from widows and orphans. And justice systems in poor countries are ill-equipped to protect victims of violent oppression and apprehend and prosecute perpetrators. Add your name to a letter bringing these important issues to President Obama’s attention.

IJM works in twelve countries to investigate and prosecute exploitation of poor and vulnerable children, women and men, but we alone cannot provide relief for all the victims who desperately need it.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Make sure that the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress help make public justice systems capable of protecting the poorest of the poor, and the most vulnerable among them: children and women.

Please add your name to a letter bringing these important issues to President Obama’s attention – and share this message with others. Thank you for raising your voice.

Eileen Campbell
Director of Justice Campaigns


Changing the world…

“People don’t want to give anything to a church just to help them flush the toilets and turn on the lights.  But if you can show them that you are changing the world, then they will make substantial sacrifice.”
Reflecting on something Chuck Booher said while at the Londen Institute I believe that Sunday’s Serve Gathering was a tremendous opportunity for people to see how Harmony is changing the world.
I only hope that we can take parts of the stories that were shared Sunday and bring them to the entire congregation over the next year.  I guess it will be my job to make sure that happens.