An Unfortunate Abbreviation.

I’ve been in Los Angeles at a meeting of the Partnership Management Team.
The Partnership Management Team appears to be the most powerful group in World Vision. After all, it is comprised of the President, the Senior Vice President, the Regional Vice Presidents, the President of World Vision US, the President of World Vision Canada, and me.
I’m the only one who’s not got President somewhere on his office door.
Do I feel deprived? Hardly.
Actually, such a group is not very powerful at all. The real power in World Vision is at the place where we touch our customers.
Decisions made in the remoteness of a Jesuit retreat centre in California, probably have less impact than decisions made in a small village in Capiz, Philippines, or on the phone to a sponsor in Kedron, Brisbane.
Are these meetings worth the time, money and jetlag?
I think the answer is ‘Yes’ if we do the right things.
What are the right things?
Chief Executives (or Presidents, if you like) are responsible for the vision and values of organisations.
To put it another way, we are responsible to see that World Vision attempts to do the right things, and in the right way.
Whether that actually happens in practice, depends on the rest of you!
We can do little more than set directions, and check whether the herd is all generally heading west.
Technically, this is called alignment. It is more important that we are all heading in the same direction, than that we are all agreed.
The power of chief executives (or Presidents) to actually make much of it happen is surprisingly limited (Naturally, I would prefer if you would not tell anyone this!).
I won’t bore you with a long report on what we did. It’s my job to bore the Board with such reports.
But we did commit ourselves to new directions in our relief ministry. And staff development. And in Bosnia. And we discussed strategic directions quite a bit. And we prayed. And we shared concerns and differences frankly but without anger.