Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Self - Serve - Systems - Capacity

In November of 2009, Rob Wegner was gracious enough to connect with me over the phone and share some of what Granger was doing with their global strategy. I've tracked with them ever since and always been impressed with their culture, strategy and way they measure success. Not to mention their new normal.

Back then, Rob sent me a prototype diagram of their idea for mission/missions and how it relates to the ideas of dependency, paternalism and toxic charity. This image to the right is what they just published in the book Missional Moves.

The points under Mission Building:
What is God doing?
Who is involved?
What are the assets?
What are the gaps?

The points under Demonstration Farming:

Think through the diagram deep enough and you'll find that it gives some great filters and perspective on doing mission and trying not to create bad dependencies with the people you are trying to serve. Even as an computer engineer living in the suburbs, I love the farm example. Farmers can't grow the seed but they can do their best to create an environment for growth.

At Ember, we've thought a lot about the spectrum of "self -> service -> systems." We've also thought about how do to best teach this to students, how to get them involved in thinking about systems and what filters we can use to determine projects that fit this paradigm. Maybe the last piece of that spectrum is 'capacity.'

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