Saturday, April 7, 2012

Finding Agreement on Goals: Culture of Practice

From March 22 to 26, members of KCC's leadership (Board, Program Council, and others) met to discuss the strategic plan. Our intention was to hone in on our key goals in four categories: Facilities, Programs, Organization and Staffing, and Financial Resources.  We weren't looking for agreement on the goals themselves--we'll need Sangha input for that--but rather agreement on what the big issues are.  Today we'll discuss some of the issues that came up around culture of practice.

Tara statue in the morning light
In drawing up the blueprint for a strategic plan, the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) looked at four areas: programs, financial resources, organization and staffing, and facilities.  During our discussions at the Leadership Retreat, a category surfaced that we had missed.  It's the idea that all the elements we were discussing actually fall into a larger context--the goal of making all our activity elements of our practice.  KCC is not only a place that supports practice, it is itself an expression of our practice.  This culture of practice relates to everything we do at KCC.  The SPC's next steps involve refining our sense of our strategic goals, and this element will be explicitly included. 

Possible Goals
In other categories, we had a hard time separating the goals from strategies to achieve them.  In the are of culture of practice, what emerged really do look like goals.  Strategies are less obvious.  As always, we would love Sangha reflections on these:
  • Embrace service as practiceDiscussion.  This refers to volunteer work at KCC, and how to relate to it and experience it directly as the practice of the Dharma.
  • Encourage giving as practiceDiscussion.  In the discussion of financial resources, the question of giving--central to the practice of the Dharma--emerged.  Members of KCC have always had conflicts about money and supporting the Dharma (on the one hand, the Dharma is precious, so it should be free, on the other hand, the Dharma is precious so it should be the most important thing to support financially).  Being explicit about the practice of generosity might clarify these conflicts.
  • Use collaboration to foster a sense of practiceDiscussion.  Working with one another in service of the Dharma is a potent support for practice.  Integrating collaborative methods like good communication, coordination, information-sharing, trust-building, and accountability would help create a container for the goal of service-as-practice.
This may be the juiciest and most joyful line of inquiry, and possibly the most inspiring.  Please feel invited to comment on this thread and consider coming to the Sangha meeting tomorrow (Sunday) following meditation (roughly 11:15 to noon). 

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