Saturday, December 31, 2011

Strategic Planning: It's KCC's Future

What will KCC look like in ten years?  Where will the urban center be located?  How big with the sangha be?  When will long retreats begin?   Who will follow Michael Conklin as resident teacher?   How will we support all our activities?

Pulling in the same direction
In October 2011, the KCC Board directed a group to begin considering a holistic strategic plan that would take into account an increasingly complex organization spread across two sites and two states.  Rather than make decisions about various parts of the organization as they arise, the Board and Program Council agreed that it was important to consider these issues together and create a plan that integrates each element.  It is their very strong wish to include the entire sangha in this process so that the evolution is one understood and endorsed by all KCC stakeholders.

KCC is fortunate to follow Dharma Rain Zen Center, who recently completed a similar project.  Members of the Strategic Planning Committee and Dharma Rain met to discuss how that process worked, and Dharma Rain has made their final plan available.  They have pdf's of a summary, a more-detailed 23-page version, and the full 62-page plan.  While we will not duplicate their process identically, their methods and final plan make an excellent road map for us to chart our own course.

Committee Activities
The Strategic Planning Committee has planned a schedule to meet roughly twice a month throughout the late summer of 2012 when the rough draft of a strategic plan will be available for Sangha, Program Council, and Board consideration.  The committee hopes to complete the process by December 2012,  The committee meets Mondays at KCC from 6:30 to 9 pm, and forthcoming meetings are listed in the left-hand column of this blog.  All meetings are open to the public.  If you wish to speak to any committee members about the process, we welcome the discussion.  Current members are: Jeff Alworth, Kathleen Benz, Michael Conklin, Dora DeCoursey, Galen Doucette, Alan Gladstone, Anthony Kimple, Bonnie McLean, Pat Parker, Bill Spangle, and Peter Wood

Sangha Involvement
KCC is a wonderful organization that offers a rich variety of meditation sessions and retreats.  Compared to other Buddhist centers, it appears well-established and stable.  The truth is more uncertain.  KCC is only beginning to learn how to practice the kind of sustainability that will allow it to remain strong and healthy in the decades to come.  It is almost completely volunteer supported, and the programs, retreats, and facilities are possible only because we have a strong sangha.  The process of making a strategic plan will only succeed if sangha members are engaged throughout.  Our future depends on us.

Since it is a complex process, the Strategic Planning Committee will be communicating with the sangha more often than usual.  They will update this blog regularly with the issues and discussions taking place as well as sending out regular emails on the Community and Announce listserv.  They commit to personally discuss these issues with sangha members.  Finally, they will hold regular meetings with the sangha to consider the issues we're discussing in meetings.  It is their strong hope and wish that sangha members join us in this process, even if it's only to follow the deliberations as they unfold.  They hope to see and hear you in the coming months.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Invitation to the Sangha Meeting on January 14

As many of you know, KCC is currently engaged in a process of strategic planning. We find ourselves confronted with a number of challenges and opportunities as we work to enhance our urban center and prepare for long retreat at SCOL. As we build a long-range strategy for KCC as a whole, it is critical that we have input and feedback from sangha members throughout the process. We will be sending regular information about how the strategic plan is developing and also inquiring regularly for your thoughts and insight.

The first major event on the calender arrives Saturday, January 14 when we'll host a meeting to assess KCC's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats/Challenges (SWOT). Please plan to come if you're available.
Date: Saturday, January 14
Time: 10 am to 2:30 pm
Location: Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple social hall, 6401 NE 10th Ave (map)
Refreshment: Pizza!

This isn't a courtesy meeting--it is genuinely important that there are as many voices from the sangha as possible in the room. We will send out more information about how the process works and give you some information to begin thinking about the meeting.

In the meantime, we'd also like to ask you to reflect on KCC's mission and vision. The mission and vision have been the guiding lights for KCC for the last twelve years in all aspects of our work. Throughout this planning process, we'll be checking in regularly to make sure our strategy is in accord with the mission and to see how the vision may be refined.

Look for another message in the next couple weeks with more information about the meeting itself. Thanks so much--and plan to come on January 14.

About This Site

Kagyu Changchub Chuling, a Vajrayana Buddhist center in Portland, Oregon, is currently undergoing a long-term strategic planning process, the first in its history.  This is mainly a tool for the members of the community to share information and engage the discussion as the plan begins to take shape.

The planning process is taking place under the auspices of an ad hoc committee the KCC Board of Directors created in October, 2011.  Called the Strategic Planning Committee, it meets every other week to discuss the issues of the strategic plan.  The committee has created this blog with the hope that members will use it to understand the complex, interlocking issues they're discussing.  The process of strategic planning won't be fully successful unless the voices of the sangha are heard along the way.  Jeff Alworth is the principle blogger, but other may contribute over the course of the process.

Anyone is welcome to attend meetings or inquire about what's happening; the committee will hold regular meetings to elicit feedback and inform the sangha of its progress.  You're invited to discuss the process with any member of the committee: Jeff Alworth, Kathleen Benz, Michael Conklin, Dora DeCoursey, Galen Doucette, Anthony Kimple, Bonnie McLean, Bill Spangle, and Peter Wood.

KCC's Mission and Vision

In a nonprofit organization, a mission is a brief statement that describes what an organization is at its most elemental level.  The vision is a statement describing how the organization hopes to fulfill its mission.  Below are KCC's.  The mission was adopted more than 20 years ago, and the vision in roughly the year 2000.

KCC is a Vajrayana Buddhist center founded by the venerable Kalu Rinpoche where the authentic teachings of the Karma and Shangpa Kagyu lineages are taught, practiced and supported. The function of KCC as an institution is to support practitioners in their process of spiritual awakening. The emphasis in the training is on the cultivation of insight and compassion in both formal practice and in daily life.

A Preamble for the KCC Vision Statement
Kagyu Changchub Chuling is currently experiencing the challenges of growth and evolution. Not only is interest and participation in the center growing, but the needs of the Sangha are evolving as new members join and long time practitioners explore new dimensions of Dharma practice. Existing facilities and current programs simply do not meet all the needs of our Sangha today. They also limit the ability of the center to accommodate any additional growth in the future. On top of this, the time pressures on our resident Lama continue to grow making it more difficult to provide appropriate personal guidance to practitioners. As the center evolves to meet these challenges we are faced on one hand with the inviting prospect of a richer environment to support our practice. On the other side, we share concerns that the current qualities of the center that we cherish may be compromised. This is the ground from which our vision arises.

A Statement of Vision for Kagyu Changchub Chuling
Kagyu Changchub Chuling will provide teachings, programs and facilities to make the Dharma accessible to individuals at all stages of life and all levels of practice and will cultivate a fertile ground for the emergence of teachers of the Dharma
  • To meet the diverse needs of the Sangha the Resident Lama and assistant teachers will provide a full spectrum of opportunities for study practice and personal guidance. There will be programs appropriate for different age groups, levels of understanding and a range of intensity of practice.
  • To ensure the transmission of the heart of the Dharma KCC will continue to work with the masters of the lineage to bring the teachings to life in our culture.
  • To maintain an atmosphere conducive to practice KCC will sustain an environment of dedication, integrity, warmth and good humor where all members of the Sangha feel connected and mutually supported.
  • To bring the Dharma into the fabric of our lives KCC will commemorate major life transitions and will honor the Dharma with celebrations and ritual.
  • To accommodate growth, KCC will acquire a new urban center which permits regular gathering of the entire Sangha.
  • To support more intensive training and practice, KCC will acquire retreat facilities in a rural setting which can accommodate concurrent individual and group retreats of various lengths.


Attached are KCC's bylaws.

KCC Bylaws