Doing What We Do Well

What a BUZZ!
Don't I say that every year? "World Vision 95" was such a great experience. Great to be part of. Great to see the program go to air. Great to hear the phones ring.
My night began at the Melbourne studios of Channel 9. Isabel and other "friends" had arranged for the gatehouse guards to give us a hard time.
"I'm Philip Hunt from World Vision," I announced.
"Who?" He looked puzzled. "What name was it?"
Jackie Tizzard, hiding in the booth, couldn't bear it, so she popped her head up to rescue us from humiliation.
"No fair," cried the security guards, "we were going to make him park in the street."
"Yeah," said the other one with a big grin, "and we were going to search the boot first!"
Inside things were already under way. The volunteers were hard at work on the phones. The television crew were in a buoyant mood, joking, smiling and encouraging. Sigrid was a bit nervous about her opening speech.
"Everyone said it was fine, but, you know..." she said, as if I would know what it was like to be an international TV star hosting a national telethon.
I guessed. "You set such high personal standards." I guessed right.
"That's it exactly," said Siggie. We were already old friends. I said she could call me Phillie if she liked.
Everyone was happy, but excited. The stars were running in adrenalin overdose mode.
Rebecca Gibney smiled constantly as if auditioning for a MacLeans ad.
Jack Jones came over after the Southern Sons number and greeted me like a lost brother. "I was sure he was going to kiss you," Judith commented later. Actually I think he did kiss her.
Before the show ended we left to stop into the Vision Drive phone room. What a fabulous sight. Everyone in a "World Vision 95" T-shirt.
Next day I enjoyed being bossed around by Rhonda, Kamini, Bev and Pat (and everyone else who dropped by and joked about the "new boy").
By the time I arrived, of course, much of the work had already been done and people all over Australia were already hand delivering sponsorship packs to the 5,000 people who had asked for them.
What an amazing event!
Congratulations to all who took part. Once again we showed what we are capable of. Praise God that he has assembled such a talented team.

Changes Still A-Coming

We did a lot of work in 1995 preparing for change. We must begin to see the fruits of this in 1996.
It is important to affirm just how much was achieved last year.
We clarified our values. Our devotional life, planning processes, work on the Christian Witness and Transformational Development policies, all contributed to a better understanding of what we believe in.
We developed a stronger sense of our mission. We affirmed that we have a vision for a better world. It is God's vision of the Kingdom. This is New Hope that we have for all people. For both customers.
We began to develop foresight. A Vision of the future began to take shape. This came out of two important processes Future Search and the Board Strategic Planning Process.
It was encouraging to discover both processes lining up at important points. We do have a common vision.
Work was begun on developing new evaluation and measurement tools.
And a special group (eventually known as the "GAD Group" after the facilitators - well, no-one wanted to call themselves "DAG") investigated structural issues.
This now leads on to the next steps.
The Management Team meets at Jumbunna Lodge for the week commencing 29 January.
Our purpose is to put more flesh on the planning bones. We shall be assisted by Board members and other resource people.
We shall consider all that has happened and push the work forward towards decisions.
Not everything could ever be done at once. That was never our plan. But some things will probably suggest themselves as timely or urgent. We shall propose such changes as necessary to the Board.
The Board meets on Friday, 23 February.
When will the Structure change?
I don't know. And I don't really care too much.
I hope that doesn't shock.
It's just that, in my experience, too much emphasis in organisations is put on structure.
I had planned originally to deal with the structural change question after the strategic direction question.
Therefore, once we were reasonably clear about where we were going, I proposed reshaping the organisation to match these directions, and inviting us to begin a journey of organisational redesign.
The Board did not approve this approach. They asked that we follow a more step-by-step process towards changes in structure.
Either way, I'm happy. I like that way too!
Thus, major structural change will occur after full analysis and consultation with the Board.
It may mean waiting longer for visible signs of change, but it has the advantage that when we make the changes, we know exactly what we are doing in much greater detail.
The GAD group has identified many of the issues if we change the way we organise ourselves for business.
The Management Team has asked the GAD group to prepare a full report on the issues, and pros and cons of different approaches.
Also, the Management Team agreed to feed back the work of the GAD group to their teams. Some of this has been delayed by other priorities, but hopefully will be completed by the end of February.

Stress Relief

Thanks to Denis Green (half of GAD) for the following stress relief ideas:
Pay your electricity bill in 5 cent pieces.
Fill out your tax return in Roman numerals.
Drive to work in reverse.  It makes you think you're on the way home and it really clears the head.
Read a dictionary upside down and look for hidden meanings.
Stare at people through the prongs of a fork and pretend they're in gaol.