Monday, June 4, 2012


~ TribeFestivus 2 Was a Great Success. We know this to be the case because JFNA's leaders keep telling us so. Latest, in the midst of a self-congratulatory summary for the eyes (only?) of the Executive Committee (I hope it is distributed because it is, in context, hysterical) these "leaders" brazenly announce that the event was not just "revenue neutral" but turned a small "profit." Pay attention here -- you budget $818,000 which is truly $1 million when you add in staff time, overhead, travel, etc. You induce 1,500  (does that number include the relatively revenue free attendance from the host community?)  young adults (now, you recall, they are "leaders") by your count. You wangle a $100,000 grant from the JFNA Endowment for more subsidies and you have a cost per participant of $667. Yeah, this is a spectacular success -- JFNA-style. Let's do it again.

~ What Do They Really Know? Friends within JFNA have sent me some of the work product and correspondence emanating from the staff and consultant to the GPT. The federations are paying a literal fortune for a Table they don't need in their homes, but from what I have been reading, even at this late date, I sense that the JFNAers responsible for the Table may not know the respective roles and responsibilities of the "Historic Partners" -- or they may just not care. This whole thing is a shanda that just keeps on getting shandaier.

~ The Nominating Process - Reflections. While the results of the Nominating Process appear to be excellent at the top of the ticket -- a wonderful Chair of the Executive comes from within our system and understands it in all of its aspects and a Board Chair, though parachuted in, comes out of a rich philanthropic environment and a community with strong professional leadership -- and who really looks at the other officers, there were process anomalies that could only have come from a dysfunctional leadership:

     ~~ A sitting Board Chair known for her control of all things, not only doesn't serve on the Nominating Committee ex officio (as have all of her predecessors [for better or for worse] and as is common practice everywhere), but she does not formally offer any suggested names though she did so informally. (One "suggestion" about which she did feel strongly, apparently even told the potential nominee the position was his/hers, was rejected by the Nominating Committee. Maybe the CEO/President forgot to mention it to the Committee -- or, maybe, he was ignored.) Like most things JFNA, quelle horreur!

     ~~ We will probably never know whether this Nominating Committee was sending a message to the Board Chair and President/CEO that "you have been marching down the wrong path," "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more," etc. But, we can hope against hope, can't we?



Anonymous said...

The nominating process does offer some hope: the incoming chair of the executive understands the positives and negatives of the lay professional partnership; has been around the most powerful long enough to know that they are neither devils nor gods; believes passionately in the relevance of our global partners; and most of all will take wise counsel from people of experience and good will who have something of importance to say.

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree. I have no hope that either of the incoming Chairs will reign in the CEO -- he who believes he actually understands the federations' needs of JFNA -- he believes they "need" whatever he's selling. He is as ineffective inside JFNA as he is outside. Pin a smiley face on him; there's nothing behind it.

Anonymous said...

Woody Guthrie once pointed out that signs that say "no trespassing" say nothing from the other side. New people are now coming inside - engage them, empower them, speak out and assume they intend the best till proven otherwise. They come from communities where volunteer leaders matter.