Friday, May 18, 2012


One of our "system's" best and brightest wrote me offline with some suggestions for "adjustments" to the GPT that might make it actually work for the federations and the "historic partners." Here are his suggestions:

I finally got around to look at the GPT plan and what struck me as so obvious is that it could actually have done some good with a few smart adjustments:

1. A radically streamlined planning process and calendar (Are global needs that mysterious and is that much time necessary to get the job done?)

2. Voting rights on all levels for JAFI and JDC (last time I looked that fit the definition of partnership).

3. Choose two issues and designate each of the above partners as lead on one. The criteria should be old fashioned UJA simple - Clear gravitas and need, significant urgency, "only the Federation system can deliver", and readily marketable appeal to donors.

4. Devolve very early on the active planning on the chosen issues to the lead partners - while holding them accountable for a product to be delivered in a timely and quality manner. Create the expectation that the lead partner will engage in coalition the most relevant, willing and talented NGO and foundation collaborators.

5. JFNA can provide essential calibration, troubleshooting and back-up staffing and have an honored place and seats at the planning tables. GPT lay and executives should be engaged throughout and can "lead from behind" constructively (no slight intended in describing this CEO/COB type role). Think of how the best foundations and Federations shepard their pet projects. JFNA should be the point on resource development with the now bolstered resource development departments of JAFI and JDC pulling their weight."

Now, my friend, my colleague, wrote to me rather than to JFNA because he knows full well from his immersion in our so-called "system" for so many years, that no one there has the capacity to listen or the interest in doing so. Further, as I have written recently, it appears that the GPT is now and forever in the hands of a consultant who busies herself with inapt "background papers" and dictating policy while no one...that's no considering alternatives such as these.

No, these ideas are too good; they would maintain our relationships with our federations' historic partners, even enhancing them, while challenging them to deliver, to partner, to move our system forward. So they will be ignored.

Thanks to my friend, my colleague. Now, dear readers, I would welcome your thoughts.


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