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.
Roger Sanders serves as the president of the Center for
Non-violent Communication (NVC)in Los Angeles. He has taught dynamics
business organization at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where
practiced law, served as a professional mediator, and taught NVC.
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