University of Winchester

ABSTRACTS /Roger Sanders

Breaking the Corporate Habit of Domination through Cell-by-Cell Transformation

Beginning with ourselves within small groups, and then working sequentially through other cells in legal bodies - corporations - we may hope to transform systems of domination. This modest proposal suggests we consume and then redirect life energy. It goes something like this: 1) limit the size of a cell of humans to increase and 2) consciously focus on organizing ourselves so that by the way we choose to be together we increase the chance for consistent compassionate functioning.

I draw upon the experience of an itinerant rabbi, and the small community he nurtured. After three years, with due respect to others seeing it differently, there were results growing out of their group which might guide a small group/cell into transforming presence. Those results -- four cornerstones of impact -- can be seen as group member commitment to a)individual development, b) mutual meeting of needs, c) mission-first focus, and d) transforming impact within the larger community. Compassion -- something like core Biblical 'love' -- is necessary to keep these dynamics from being housed in a organizational version of Tinman in the Wizard of Oz. Compassion is the necessary heart of the matter.

This is an inexpensive experiment in constructing deliberate conditions and practices to promote compassionate organization. Without something like this, we continue in the darkness insidiously permeating organizations as they get bigger and older. Age and size kill intention in organization. Bureaucracy becomes the aim; intention, fickle friend that it often is, recedes into organizational darkness. I propose we start studying how to replicate in the corporate body the best of intention in the human body. This experiment, dipped in compassion, not religion, aims to capture compassionate dynamic without spoken theology, results broader than any narrow narrative. It aims less to be Christian than beautifully human; and in so being, transformative, even organically transformative of the body corporate, the body politic.

Biographical Statement
Roger Sanders serves as the president of the Center for Non-violent Communication (NVC)in Los Angeles. He has taught dynamics of business organization at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he has practiced law, served as a professional mediator, and taught NVC. He has also served as member of the Texas legislature, as United States Magistrate Judge, and more recently, as a member of a Christian Peacemaker Team delegation to Iraq in late May/early June of this year.


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