Friday, June 22, 2012


All of you are familiar with the "rule" that reads: "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." Well, that's all of you who aren't at JFNA. For once again these _________s (fill in the blank) have stood a rule on its head -- for JFNA it's "if you find yourself in a hole, dig deeper." Allow me to explain.

The Global Planning Table is a mess. Confused, confusing, promising outcomes it can't deliver, predictably it offers the federation system and its historic partners a bigger disaster than was ONAD. Further, it is creating expectations that will pit federation against federation, historic partner vs. historic partner. It is not a "planning" function at all unless one considers a disastrous set of outcomes a result of "planning."

So, when I received an e-mail from a terrific professional, one who is truly dedicated to and experienced in our federation system, articulating "...a few smart adjustments" that might actually make viable the GPT planning and execution, I published it on May 18 under the Post titled "'Fixing' the Global Planning Table." Since that date the Committee met with wholly predictable and negative outcomes. I decided that I would send the Post to Jerry. I did so on June 7 with a cover note, that concluded: "[A] respected professional sent me five steps that could effect change (to the GPT)."

Jerry's response floored even me. He refused to read the Post because he doesn't " the Blog." (ahem!!) Of course this made sense only to the ostrich genus. Though this sorry chapter is now closed, I wrote Jerry: "Of course, knowing that you don't read the Blog (!!??), I sent you this Post because I thought it was constructive...Refusing to consider these recommendations, regardless of the source, seems to me to be very short-sighted, but so be it; it's your call."

This is but a footnote to a sorry chapter in organizational history. Leaders who hear no evil and see no evil (though they speak plenty of it) and brook not even constructive criticism that gets in the way of their predetermined course, their narrative, their way. And they think things are going so well...they are, aren't they?



Anonymous said...

Question for you Richard. The GPT "proposals" are set to be presented at the 2013 GA.

Isn't Jerry's contract up for renewal before that? Because from where I sit this is anything but a slam dunk renewal.

What happens if it isn't renewed? Can the wasted money on the GPT be offset against any 'so long its been good to know you' pay?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but reusing to read an e-mail on "principle" is assholic behavior.

Anonymous said...

While on the first solidarity mission during the 2nd intifada I was sitting on the bus with a respected leader of the British Jewish community. In discussing who might eventually follow Arafat he said there was an old English expression, "Never pray for a new king". (Of course in Arafat's case it did work out somewhat to the better.)

Anonymous said...

Don't bet the farm that the recommendations will be ready by November 2013 unless you have a lot of excess money to lose. (By the way if you do have excess funds I know at least 3 overseas organizations that would be willing to come speak with you.)