8 thoughts on “The Old Vs. The New Guard In The Citizen-Centric Era”

  1. You make me wish I was there! I love meaningful conversations that involve two compelling but seemingly irreconcilable narratives. It’s a personal fascination of mine. The conflict is sometimes based on the idea that any single story can be true (vrs effective, perhaps contingently so). If an organization is staking it’s time and money (and survival) on a direction or initiative, obviously they want to choose the “right” one, and certainly an individual who may be staking their life on a given story wants it to be right as well. It seems to me that when the stakes are high is when people become increasingly “fundamentalist” about their stories! And yet these are the times when flexibility and curiosity are the greatest assets. “Crisis” is potentially a good time to clear the current Baudrillardian map and look at the ground underneath… begin a new cartography… which it seems like you’re trying to do in your new work. I’d love to see your report when you’re through!

  2. Funny you should use the terms Old and New “Guard”. In my experience impasse at such meetings stems from just that: Factions guarding their own positions on a topic. Sometimes the atmosphere becomes so poisoned, one or both “Guards” waste all the time defending their wall rather than building bridges between them. You might have added an item to both columns “pride in accomplishment” on the one hand, “pride of authorship” on the other.

  3. As a long time friend of Dave Moore, I can attest to his wonders in communicating. I quickly realized that he was the frat brother that I most wanted to emulate when I grew up. Unfortunately, the last time I saw him facilitating a discussion was close to 18 years ago in a college dorm room, but some of those issues/conditions were pretty contentious in their own rights (at least they were then).

  4. Leo, I like those twin “pride” entries.

    Greg — yes, Dave is a prince of a person.

    Myshel — I would love to share that report with you! Gotta get it done first . . .

  5. Brad – great post. I was thinking about this all the way back up to NY. The conversation really did break into two factions, as you say. It’s interesting that some of the “new” stuff on the table – social media and more open planning for older organizations – focused on the “the possible” rather than on a vast movement. Good stuff and I enjoyed both the crowd and meeting you.

  6. Hey, Brad, great post and great to finally (!) meet you in person! It was a fascinating meeting and from my perch firmly ensconced in the geek corner the divide was quite clear.

    Upon reflection I think that real sticking point between the two different points of view was focused on how to get started. I think once started it was pretty clear to everyone that an effort has to be very agile, constantly learning and improving, trying to engage more and more people. But whether you need a fully buttoned-down plan with the entire strategy outlined that will be expensive and time-consuming to create, or whether you can just get going and incorporate the doing into the ongoing planning seemed key to me. Based on the previous sentence and my position in the geek corner you can probably guess which one I voted for!

    Once the planning becomes long and expensive then the stakes go up and the risk goes up and the chances of someone taking a fall for the failure goes way, way up. I would prefer to see groups like United Ways begin to transition from a transactional lens to a relational one with their communities by testing out some ideas, inviting unusual suspects into conversations, listening, listening, listening to their communities and learning as they go. Just one geek’s opinion!

    Really great meeting you!


  7. Allison, I agree wholeheartedly and I love your point about long (“expensive”) planning increasing risk and the chance for someone to become a scapegoat. I think the skunk works approach is the way to go. Another way to say this is to just start creating (encouraging) small changes in ad hoc ways; this will become full fledged pockets of change (as my friend Rich Harwood says) and from these you can start to see what sticks and build.

    It is a way of working that looks longer and more chaotic at the start, but that is more robust, resilient and agile once things get going.

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