Northern Virginia Ethical Society (NoVES)

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Vision: The Art of Seeing what is Invisible to Others

Sunday, March 11, 2018 9:57 PM | Deleted user

Over the past several months, the board and a number of NoVES members has been developing a ‘Vision’ of what NoVES can become in the next 3 to 5 years. Part of the Vision is a commitment to growth in membership; part of it is a recognition of our unique position geographically, demographically, and a political climate wherein we should be on the forefront with our values and activism. Another part of the vision is a recognition that a growth in NoVES necessarily moves us from a smaller, familial model of society to a larger, congregational model. A substantial step in this model change is to organize our administrative efforts to more efficiently support it. The Vision includes administrative steps, several of which have already been implemented, to allow the board to function more efficiently and further empower our committees and individual membership. The Vision also includes identification of areas for increased engagement with membership, visitors, and other organizations.

In substance, the above articulation appears altogether promising and judicious. Yet we must recognize change can often bring about a sense of uncertainty. Uncertainty may come from having grown accustomed to things as they are or a belief that something of value may be lost. Understandably, some of us may have concerns about being able to efficiently adapt to change, whether it is, for example, working with new technology or with new partners with civic action. Whether you feel uncertainty or not, a simple reminder may be helpful. Our Vision is really just a recognition that as special as NoVES already is for each of us, it can be all of that and more for an even greater number of fellow members.

I firmly believe ethical humanism is more than just a commitment to values; it is a commitment to action. This Vision represents a call for collective action on the part of NoVES to be even more than we already are. To borrow the words of Rosabeth Moss Kanter, “A Vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to be something more.”

The real challenge ahead is to translate our Vision into a set of executable plans supported by appropriate volunteer and financial resources. As the old adage in the construction industry aptly states, ‘It is not enough to simply plan the work, one must also work the plan.’ In the coming weeks, we hope to work with our various committees to fine tune the core targets we seek to achieve in the next budget year and the associated resources required. Only then can what we have now as a broad Vision be turned into a workable plan of action.

The Vision ‘matrix’ in its current stage can be found here. It includes broadly defined areas of ‘Membership’, ‘Society Governance’, & ‘Resources’ along with associated goals, strategies, tactics, and execution elements.

The board looks forward to each of you joining us as we take the next steps to turning this Vision into concrete time and resource bound actions in the near future.



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