These are serious times for JFNA -- the most serious JFNA has ever faced -- and we need serious people to face them. I believe in the sitting Chairs; I admire their patience in coming to understand the fix in which JFNA now finds itself. Yet, it has now been eight months since their installation...they have to understand the crisis...it is time for them to act.
One Anonymous Commentator, responding to an earlier Post wrote:
"I have been following this blog for what must be years now and agree that the system is very broken.
What I don't see being addressed is "What can we do to fix it?"
Instead of continuing to try to convince the convinced (I imagine that the unconvinced are simply not reading or not paying attention), how about trying to get something going to attempt to change things before total collapse?"
While I believe that I have offered a series of changes that would "fix it," let's be certain of one thing: JFNA can only be "fixed" by federation lay and professional leaders first understanding that JFNA is badly broken and then taking charge. Today, at 25 Broadway, there is not a single lead professional member of the Senior Management Team who has any federation experience...none.
Our Chairs have to know that during times of crisis such as these, no leader of any organization, certainly not one owned by the federations should be, among other things: appearing on YouTube feigning the Harlem Shake; involved in the planning of a Third TribeFest; traveling on minor Missions merely to demonstrate how well they relate to the "newgen;" or trying to pass off as "new" a set of nothing more than programs of the past, many of them already well beyond their "use by" dates, as "new Strategic Initiatives." Further, our Chairs need to use their power to question the institutional judgment that permits search processes to begin for a COO and a Senior V-P "Philanthropic Resources" in the last year of the CEO's own employment contract. Yet, these are many of the very "things" with which this CEO/President has been "busy" with these past months.
With the merger that created what is now JFNA, successive lay and professional leaders were handed a precious legacy -- what one of my dear friends and partners characterized as one that was "extraordinary." These leaders had the chance to act and think boldly in shaping that legacy for the present and into the future. Instead, as we have noted, our leaders have constantly been distracted from purpose, vision and resolve by shiny objects...actually by anything and everything.
So, how do the lay leaders of JFNA reshape the legacy in the present and for the future? My suggestion: go "back to the future." Take what was great, what made the predecessor organizations great -- those timeless principles and core values -- and bring them into the present and the future.
What we have permitted JFNA to become and what JFNA is today, is nowhere near where or what the federations are, let alone what they want. The Chairs must announce to the federations with all their strength and passion: "From this day forward, JFNA will be about you." And, then, make it so.
As the brilliant writer, Mike Lupica, has observed in another context equally applicable to JFNA today: "These guys are so beyond the 'Clown Line,' they couldn't find it without a GPS."