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what we can learn from occupy

There’s something to be learned from the Occupy Movement for people in leadership across organizational types and sizes. There is something about this movement that speaks to postmodern milieu of the West. But it is not limited to the west at all. Indeed, the occupy movement certainly derives some inspiration from the Arab Spring, as well as what we’ve seen online through groups such ‘anonymous.’ The way we organize is changing. What I’ve referenced to above may be drastic examples. Still, leaders ought to pay attention to them and what they say about leading organizations of the future.

To begin, people want to have a voice. Whether the Arab Spring or the Occupy Movement, what we are seeing is a cry to be heard. It is also an accusation: current organizations do not allow them to be heard. To have a voice for the many does not always mean chaos. In fact, there is a lot to be said about the kind of consensus-oriented, coordinated action of these movements. Nonetheless, people, and young people especially, want to know that they have permission to speak up and their input be valued. In the vacuum of such contexts, people create their own and this what we’ve seen happen in these contexts. How can you ensure that people are heard?

Secondly, the plan is to not have a plan. The Occupy Movement, in particular, has been ridiculed for not having  a cohesive message, demand or… plan! But part of this is sparked by postmodern cynicism that says, “Nothing ever works out like you plan. You aren’t ultimately in control. So, why kid yourself?!” Can this be argued with? There is truth to this. People have heard the greatest visions, dreams and appeals and additionally seen how shallow they are. The proverbial “BS meter” of the population has increased exponentially. Does this mean we shouldn’t dream big dreams as leaders? No. Not all. Just look at the dreams of these movements listed above. Are they not grandiose? They certainly are. But they were crafted together, were realistic about their own limitations and control of the future. Yet, they still did tried! Do the visions of our organizations incorporate the voices of the whole? Or do they paint an unrealistic vision and uncontrollable outcome of the future?

You can read some more of my thoughts on the Occupy Movement here.

One response to “what we can learn from occupy

  1. Jim Loepp Thiessen ⋅

    I think Uncle Lester also was probably sick of “being the professional pray-er.” I always resist that role at our family gatherings.

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