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There is a growing movement of people with a different vision for their local communities. They know that real satisfaction and the good life are not provided by organizations, institutions, or systems. No numbers of great CEOs, central offices, or long range plans produce what a community can produce. People are discovering a new possibility for their lives. They have a calling. They are called. And together they call upon themselves. This possibility is idealistic, and yet it is an ideal within our grasp. It is a possibility that is both idealistic and realistic. Our culture leads us to believe that a satisfying life can be purchased. It tells us that in the place where we live, we don't have the resources to create a good life. This book reminds us that a neighborhood that can raise a child, provide security, sustain our health, secure our income, and care for our vulnerable people is within the power of our community. This book gives voice to our ideal of a beloved community. It reminds us of our power to create a hope-filled life. It assures us that when we join together with our neighbors we are the architects of the future where we want to live.
Modern culture's worship of "how-to" pragmatism has turned us into instruments of efficiency and commerce--but we're doing more and more about things that mean less and less. We constantly ask "how? and still struggle to find purpose and act on what matters. Instead of acting on what we know to be of importance, we wait for bosses to change, we seek the latest fad, we invest in one more degree. Asking how keeps us safe--instead of being led by our hearts into uncharted territory, we keep our heads down and stick to the rules. But we are gaining the world and losing our souls. Peter Block puts the "how-to" craze in perspective and presents a guide to the difficult and life-granting journey of bringing what we know is of personal value into an indifferent or even hostile corporate and cultural landscape. He raises our awareness of the trade-offs we've made in the name of practicality and expediency, and offers hope for a way of life in which we're motivated not by what "works," but by the things that truly matter in life--idealism, intimacy, depth and engagement.
Block offers a new way of thinking about our actions that helps free us from being controlled by the bombardment of messages about how we should live and act. He shows how our obsession with tools and techniques actually prevents us from doing things we believe in, and he identifies what is required of us to not only know what matters but to act on that knowledge. He reframes leadership as the role of social architect where convening, engaging and defining the question replace vision, charisma and driving change.
Training and development consultant Peter Block discusses how to foster community in organizations. His ideas are based on the following principles: that the essential work is to build social fabric for its own sake and to enable accountability, strong associational life is essential and central, citizens who use their power to convene other citizens are what create an alternative future, the small group is the unit of transformation, and all transformation is linguistic and community is therefore essentially a conversation.
Modern society is plagued by fragmentation. The various sectors of our communities-businesses, schools, social service organizations, churches, government - do not work together. They exist in their own worlds as do so many individual citizens, who long for connection but end up marginalized, their gifts overlooked, their potential contributions lost. This disconnection and detachment makes it hard if not impossible to envision a common future and work towards it together. What Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation. How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? He explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.
This is the much-awaited second edition of a 15-year-old classic, with new chapters on whole systems delivery, implementation, and ethics and the shadow side of consulting, plus updated information on preparing for feedback. Suggestions are presented in a reader-friendly layout with humor and b&w cartoons, as well as examples, case studies, exercises, and checklists. The author founded two well-known training firms, and has been a consultant and speaker to governments, businesses, and communities around the world for the past 30 years.
Service, Accountability, and Partnership Stewardship was provocative, even revolutionary, when it was first published in 1993, and it remains every bit as relevant and radical today. Most organizations still rely on patriarchy and hierarchy as their core form of governance, stifling initiative and spirit and alienating people from the work they do. Peter Block asserts that a fundamental shift in how we distribute power, privilege, and the control of money can transform every part of an organization for the better, and he examines the nitty-gritty of implementing these reforms. This revised and expanded edition includes a new introduction by Block addressing what has and hasn't changed since the first edition and a new chapter on applying stewardship to the common good of the wider community. This visionary yet pragmatic book is sure to open your mind and change the way you do your job forever. "An original and profound new view on how to run organizations...Block transcends all extant leadership literature." --Library Journal "Stewardship is one of those books that permanently changes how you think. It obliterates the wall between good business and ethical business...Get better business results, change the world, and save your soul with a single book." --Gifford Pinchot III, cofounder and President, Bainbridge Graduate Institute "The most insightful analyst of what ails organizations has written a very timely update of his book Stewardship. With America's newest civic generation, millennials, now flooding the world of work, Block offers a system of governance that captures that generation's need for 'service over self-interest.'" --Morley Winograd, coauthor, with Mike Hais, of Millennial Momentum "The new edition of Stewardship is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in building sustainable businesses, organizations, and communities. [Block's] ideas create more engaged organizations, which are better for people, the environment, and business." --Brian Camastral, CEO, Riversong Sanctuary; cofounder, BLITS Foundation; and former Global President, Mars Food
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