The New Volunteerism Project
Ivan Henry Scheier
A Philosophy of Work and Community
The Philosophy Underlying Ivan Scheiers Methods
The page #'s refer to the pages
of the "New Volunteerism Project: The Ivan Scheier Archival Collection."
Five bound volumes placed in the Reference collection of the
Dayton Memorial Library at Regis University
|Table of Contents||Page #|
|"Once Volunteering Was for Dreamers" a poem||2|
|Part I: The Importance of Assumptions||3-7|
|Part II: Underlying Beliefs and Biases||8-27|
|Part III: Annotated Bibliography||28-32|
|Part IV: Sampler of Several Key Philosophy Publications||33-78|
|-- Towards An Appropriate Technology of Voluntary Action"©||34-39|
|-- THE NEW PEOPLE APPROACH HANDBOOK. ©||40-65|
|-- "Leadership of Volunteers Roads We Might Still Take" @||66-71|
|-- "Volunteer Administration: An Emerging Misnomer" ©||72|
|-- "On Becoming a Dreamcatcher" ©||73-75|
|-- "Guerrilla Goodness"©||76-78|
|-- "Not Just for Laughs: Smiles With A Menage For Volunteering"@||79-87|
|Part V: Outline of Archival Resources and Their Likely Availability||88|
permission for use-with-acknowledgment
Introductory Notes A Philosophy of Work and Community
The New Volunteerism Project is designed to identify, collect, evaluate and, where appropriate, refine and disseminate for the future, the methods and strategies I developed and/or adapted during a 32-year career in volunteerism and related fields (1964-96). Insightful colleagues pointed out that meaning would be lacking in a mere assembly of methods without an understanding of the philosophy or philosophies underlying these methods. The purpose of this packet is to identify this philosophy, clarify and communicate it.
The approach was mainly a review of relevant writing throughout my career, summarizing them, clarifying ambiguities, deciding among alternate trends and interpretations of philosophy in different writings, and filling blank spots, of which there were many; finally an attempt at overall integration. As a basis for doing all this, there was no lack of material; The Part III Annotated Bibliography shows I produced at least 25 articles and essays on philosophy during my career. The problem was to distinguish genuine evolution in thinking from apparent repetitions, also to generalize, as an overall philosophy, the more specific methodological reference of individual articles. This remains very much a work in progress; the present draft is issued only because I dont believe I can go further on this without the insights of valued colleagues.
Part I. Viewpoint on the importance of unprovable assumptions in influencing what we do in volunteerism or any other effort to understand and encourage the positive in the community. Outlines four main steps and options which are germane to any analysis which accepts this viewpoint (pages 307).
Part II. applies the same viewpoint to understanding my own personal assumptions (e.g. beliefs and biases) as they influenced my approach to the field of volunteerism and related fields. (Pages 8-27)
Part III. is an annotated bibliography of some of my writings over the past 30 years, relevant to the philosophy of volunteerism, work and community (pages 28-32).
(The above three parts will always be part of the New Volunteerism Philosophy packet. Part IV below will be included sometimes, as feasible, for readers who wish to go into the material more deeply. Archival V reading will be included only as available and on special request, with reimbursement of copying and mailing costs requested.)
Part IV. is a sampler of six intact publications on philosophy of work and community written at various stages of my career (pages 33-75).
Part V. Archival. Remaining 20 or so other writings on philosophy (Page 76).
Please Note: Notably in Parts I and II, but sometimes elsewhere as well, readers may be distracted by the methods given as example of various philosophical principles these being my own methods with which the reader may not happen to be familiar. The intent was to put flesh on the principles through such examples but, of course, for someone not familiar with the methods it is, as I noted, simply a distraction, quite possibly an irritating one.
One suggestion is not to read this section until you have familiarized yourself with the sections on methods, or at least those parts which identify and describe the six or seven methods most often referred to. Another suggestion is to delete the methodological references; indeed, at some point I would like to rewrite Parts I and II without using the methods as examples.
"Once Volunteering Was for Dreamers" a poem
Once, volunteering was for dreamers....
We were and some still are pioneers in compassionate enterprise. It was the way we got good things done before there were big budgets or bureaucracies.
Once, volunteering was a legacy....
It was an inheritance from family, friends, or faith, an unself-conscious way of living out basic values.
Volunteering was just the way we were, a private matter of public consequence.
Once, volunteering was a power....
We didnt react to trends, we CAUSED them.
We didnt supplement staff, we CREATED them.
Politicians didnt use us; we used them.
And we made dreams happen.
Once, volunteer was for dreamers....
May it soon be so again.
Parts I and II comprise the most comprehensive and current statement of my philosophy of work and community, all of it with the advantage of hindsight at the end of my career.
Part I: The Importance of Assumptions
The Quest and Its Context
If the unexamined life is not worth living, the unexamined career is hardly worth having. I feel this is so, anyhow, and at the end of a long career am deeply grateful for the opportunity to reflect on "why" questions of philosophic, methodological and personal import. All the better to do so with caring, insightful colleagues such as I've had on the New Volunteerism Project.
This privileged quest is for identifying and articulating the basic premises that drove my work, accounted for consistent themes in the development of methods and the enunciation of positions in debates about volunteerism and commuity. At first, I tended to think of this as a kind of conceptual archaeology, but soon discovered it could not be so, since so much of the material was already highly visible on the surface. The annotated bibliography (Part III) contains some 25 writings entirely or substantially devoted to philosophy, beginning as far back as 1975 and regularly since then. Apparently, I never stopped thinking about philosophy of work and community and never stopped trying to articulate and communicate mine. Moreover, my philosophy was quite consistently embodied and implemented in the methods developed. Whatever may be thought of my beliefs, they were not usually held in a vacuum. I did try to put my methods where my mouth was.
What was lacking was overall integration of these numerous bits and pieces of philosophy, which were usually somewhat specialized to one method or another. Moreover, some parts of the philosophy were not really explicit, clear or even conscious until recent opportunities for reflection and summing up. Such clarification and integration of the beliefs underlying my work is the challenge of this packet. My hope is that the presentation of the resulting philosophy will come across as meaning for the reader, if not always persuasive.
This may be the place to say I felt my philosophy of work and community was generally a minority viewpoint in the volunteerism/volunteer administration for over the past thirty years. I leave the reader to decide whether this was true or not and, if true, why.
The Influence of Assumptions on Volunteerism and Related Fields
I believe that what we do is influenced by faith as much as fact; by what we believe as much as by what we can prove. Assumptions, beliefs, premises, customs, conventions, even biases in the sum, the essentially unproved and quite possible unprovable are often held unconsciously and reflexly, and nevertheless profoundly influence policy and behavior in fields such as volunteerism. Though often not even subject to proof or disproof, these premises/assumptions can be more or less helpful or productive in their influence on policies and procedures. Moreover, assumptions which were productive in the past can over time and change of circumstance obsolesce and become blocks or anchors holding back further progress. Thus, the assumption that heavier-than-air objects fall helpe, and still helps, us design effective machinery and not walk out of second-story windows unless bent on suicide. Yet, only when the Wright Brothers were able to treat this as an assumption with exceptions, rather than a universal truth, was it possible to discover the airfoil shape and invent the airplane.
The above has always been my basic belief in the development of a philosophy and methodology of work and community. The implied modus operandum for whoever seeks understanding as a student within this framework can be stated quite neatly, even if it hardly ever operated that way:
1 ----- Identify, clarify and gain reasonable consensus on the assumptions, beliefs or premises underlying what we are doing and have done in the field of volunteerism or related fields. The process of discovery is often the hardest part of all.
The following three numbered paragraphs represent alternative conclusions that can be reached about the assumptions identified in step one.
2 ----- Confirm in place those that seem sufficiently productive and useful as they are, or
3 ----- Supplement the assumption by broadening it and/or including others, (ending up sometimes with assumptions alleging essentially opposite things, both of which can be productive, even if both can't be true "at the same time"), or
(Thus, in deciding the best way to treat convicted offenders, the rehab and punitive assumptions are essentially "opposite." But applied together, selectively and appropriately, they might well be more effective than either alone.)
4 ----- Replace the assumption with another or others.
The supplementation and replacement options (3 and 4) amount to traveling roads less traveled in hopes they might lead to a city on the hill (but we don't know that they will). The metaphor breaks down in that we often don't know for sure where the oft-traveled roads might lead, either.
Some examples of the dynamics we have been describing:
"Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." Every now and then, I take this one off the shelf, dust it off with renewed admiration and devotion, do everything I can to live by it and support others who do so. Let dictators deny this magnificent premise. I cannot absolutely prove them wrong in any strict scientific sense (not yet, at any rate). And I don't care.
"A woman's place is in the home." This assumption held sway for centuries without serious challenge, and still does in some places. Slowly, steadily, in Western society at least, that premise has enlarged to "A woman's place is in the home or any other place she can engage" in work that is meaningful and fulfilling for herself and others." The broadened assumption has had enormous positive impact on the work lives of women and the enrichment of society. Some challenges, too, of course.
"You get what you pay for."
At its best, volunteerism has decisively confronted this entrenche assumption with a replacement that goes something like this: "You get MORE than you for; money is not the (only) measure of the value of work." Notice I said, "at its best," volunteerism has done this. As might be expected in trying to free oneself from such a potent premise, there has been some slippage, e.g., in my opinion, when we tout the "dollar value" of volunteer work.
For purposes of illustration, the above three examples involved assumptions that seem, at least in retrospect, relatively easy to identify. At least as often, the "uncovery process is more challenging, for example in the case of the Wright Brothers' ability to see that the "law of gravity" might have some "exceptions." Even when an underlying assumption is uncovered, skeptics might demur that it is subject to proof or disproof rather than a matter of absolute faith. Finally, there may also be some doubt as to whether a particular assumption does in fact have substantial influence operationally on what we do in the encouragement of meaningful work and community.
The three preceding examples also suggest a fundamental reorientation in our criteria for evaluating the premises underlying a field of endeavor--that these premises lead to positive, productive consequences, more or less regardless of whether they can be strictly proven as true or false. (It may be that the useful in this sense tends also to be true, but I don't see how you can prove that either.) A common example would be how "positive attitude" has a role in producing success, even if, at the outset, such optimism cannot be justified factually. (Conversely, negative attitudes). Typically, situations are far more complex than this; for example, the premise that "competition is a good thing" may produce both significant benefits and drawbacks. Finally, assumptions which once had positive power may lose it in changing circumstances over time. For example, the assumption that one must clear the land by knocking down trees, stripping natural land cover, etc., worked well and seemed necessary in settling the wilderness. Today it would be more likely viewed as damaging to the environment. The latter case--the "decay" in value of operating assumptions over time--is what I believe may have happened in Volunteer Administration/organized volunteerism, from the 1960's to the present. The basic assumptions which served us well in the beginning have gotten tired; yet nothing seems to have arrived for consideration in replacing them. Obviously, I hope the alternatives described in this packet will fulfill that function ...
For methods based on the viewpoint outlined in this essay (Part 1), please see the CREATIVE THINKING packet Sec III), especially the "What If, Anchors and Questioning the Question methods. The best example of the method/approach applied to the analysis of volunteerism is the essay entitled: "Leadership of Volunteers--Roads We Might Still Take." The entire essay is included in the Part IV Sampler of Publications and is also summarized in the Part III ANNOTATED BIBILOGRAPHY.
Part II: UNDERLYING BELIEFS AND BIASES
Including Later, A Conducted Tour of My Social Psyche
Level One: Contrasting Biases and Beliefs, Briefly Stated
Social systems and fields of study, such as volunteerism, are driven at least as much by predisposition as by proof, by underlying assumptions. as much as by demonstrable fact. This was the thesis of preceding Part I, and if it is true for social systems, I believe it is equally true for individuals. Including me. Here then, insofar as I can identify them,* re the underlying assumptions, beliefs and biases which most influenced my approach to the underlying assumptions of volunteerism and related fields.
(*In relation to the Part I process for dealing with underlying assumptions in social systems (q.v.) my own assumptions, once identified, were often confirmed to my own satisfaction over the years, sometimes supplemented, and sometimes even "flipped." Indeed, some of the beliefs described below as alternatives to mine, were- my own positions some years ago)
My characteristic operating assumptions or predispositions are presented in the lefthand column. In the other column are alternative emphases which, in my view, have tended to predominate in modern volunteerism and other disciplines for the study of work and community. I have tried to state these alternative emphases fairly but probably have not always succeeded in doing so.
My emphases especially, tend to be expressed as aphorisms or other brief key statements. The statements I have used most often to summarize my positions, are in quotes. Examples of methods illustrating an/or implied by basic beliefs/assumptions, are in parentheses.
The attempt is to present underlying beliefs--mine and the alternative--in relatively "pure" form. In fact, many approaches are a mix of the two, and neither predisposition is necessarily "better" than the other. Naturally enough, I feel that volunteerism and related fields could currently be releasing more creative energies if my own biases were more influential in determining strategy and methodology.
But I don't prove that. Here, I distinguish between verbal agreement with such principles and actually concretely implementing them in one's strategy and methods. I'm inclined to hold everyone's feet to the fire on that--including mine.
This first level of presentation is relatively brief and suggestive rather than exhaustive. A second level, which can be treated as an appendix to this first level, is a more extensive resource for more detail on my basic beliefs and predispositions. In fact, it may be more than anyone ever wanted to know about my personal anatomy of bias, except perhaps for dipping into one or two out of more interest in detail.
Level One: My Beliefs and Biases as Emphases, Contrasted with Alternative Emphases
1)Though the quotes are worded in terms of individuals, small groups should also be understood
2)The sayings are in rough clusters of similar themes, but these clusters overlap and blend, and are never precise'.
MY UNDERLYING BIASES BELIEFS ALTERNATIVE PREDISPOSITIONS
(in my view, generally more mainstream)
What we do is determined by what we can't prove as much as by what we can. (The Power of Assumptions, "Questioning the Question," "Anchors" and generally the entire Creative Problem-Solving Packet Sec III) Insofar as possible, base your actions on what is factually demonstrable, the provable rather than the unprovable.
Try to remove assumptions rather than identify and work with them as drivers of concepts and action.
"There are limits to what people can do. And those limits are largely in our imagination." ("Glad Gifts"," Window of Work", "MINIMAX", etc.)
"Everybody has something to give. Our job is to give them a chance to give it." (same as above)
There are definite ceilings in achievement beyond which people-(ordinarily) cannot go. Some people just have more (innate) ability than others. So we need screening, selection, separate educational and training tracks, standards which the elite can meet but others can't, etc Everybody needs something, too. We are, all of us, both helpers and needers, depending on time and circumstance. "(MINIMAX", "Job Factor") There are pretty clear distinctions between people who characteristically give and people who characteristically take, between "designated helpers" and "clients." "Build work around people." Fit the job to the person. (Entire "People Approach System", especially "Window of Work", and "Work Assignment Grid". Sec VI) Fit the person to the job. "Make the minimum difference in what a
person wants to do and can do, which has the maximum positive impact on other people." ("MINMAX" Process) Sec VIII)
Emphasis on selecting, guiding or shaping the person to the job, the nature of which is usually decided mainly by others. Job description, training, supervision, evaluation,
criteria for promotion, etc.
Maximize the self-determination of every worker, the number of choices and decisions she/he has on work and working conditions, and the seriousness with which his/her ideas are taken. ("Member Input Process", plus attention to freelance and small group volunteering) Be as sure as we can that workers do what we want them to do, and don't do what we don't want them to do, via accountability, management, "chain of command," selection, supervision, job description, training, evaluation, promotion criteria, etc. We need to pay more attention to change occurring largely or entirely from the ground up, often as one person at a time. ("Member Input Process", "Networking", "Freelance Volunteering") Emphasis on implementing change from the top down via board and other leadership development, management, supervision, model projects (?), promulgation of standards, guidelines, regulation, and policy. We need everybody working together. If it takes a village to raise a child, "It takes a village to raise a village, a city to raise a city." ("Glad Gifts", "Window of Work", "Member Input Process", "Work Assignment Grids", NETWORKING Packet) Like it or not, some people are more crucial than others in moving things forward at any level, while others are supernumerary or "deadwood." (Certification, professionalism, "high standards," tight screening, any sense of special consideration for elites.) Wherever possible "put joy back in the job." Do all you can to make work "love made visible" a la the poet Kalil Gibran. ("The Glad Gift", the "Quest", "MINIMAX", the "Window of Work", "EXLPLORING VOLUNTEER SPACE") Accent on work as obligation, responsibility, demanding, often involving the unpleasant, and even sacrificial. If you're having fun in your work, you may not be serious enough. "There is no such thing as an apathetic person; there are only unimaginative, insensitive leaders." (Examples same as above) There is such a thing as an apathetic person. In fact, there are lots of them, and limits to what we can do to change that. (?) "In the main, we do not create motivation in the adult human person; we discover it and then connect it to need." We should avoid using motivation as a verb. (Examples: same as above, especially, MINIMAX and Window of Work) Emphasis on the extent to which we can motivate people by manipulation of external (extrinsic) factors such as incentives, training, recognition, motivational workshops, etc. Especially if you value creativity in the contributions of people, surprise is okay, in fact necessary, and tight planning can suffocate. (Same as for three preceding ) There's no such thing as a pleasant surprise. (Therefore, short- and long-range planning are very important.) As often as possible, and more than now, we should try to "make dreams come true without much money," separate quality of life from money. (Commitment to volunteering, generally, plus the approaches in the book "MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE WITHOUT MUCH MONEY." Sec V) Emphasis on having/raising money in order to achieve goals. Small is beautiful, plus it can also be very effective. Say the same for more informal styles (interest in entirely volunteer and/or "grassroots" groups, and freelance individual volunteers, also much of the NETWORKING Packet). Emphasis on structured, well-organized big programs and organizations as a way of getting things done. (Organizational development, etc.) The assumptions and guiding principles of our field of study (volunteerism, etc.) should be based primarily on what we perceive as different, special, and even unique about us, the authentic and original. Primarily, we should adapt, adopt, or copy as much as possible, the guiding principles and methods from other fields we see as similar and admirable (e.g., business management, corporations, personnel administration)
Level Two: Amplification on My Underlying Assumptions, Beliefs and Biases
(A conducted tour of my social psyche)
Warnings to readers venturing beyond this point:
1 --There is repetition between sections because some people may only want to read one or two sections and certain things need to be repeated to make a section self-standing.
2 -- The extensive reference to my methods, e.g., MINIMAX, is for people already familiar with my work, especially as presented in the current complete New Volunteerism materials. The primary purpose in this section is explication of philosophy in relation to methods, rather -than philosophy alone. I regret how hard this might make the text, with its copious and somewhat mysterious cross-references, for people only interested in the philosophy part. I only hope you can skip over the rest without too much distraction.
A -- The Power of Assumptions vis a vis proof
B -- Intrinsic Maverickness (Enjoyment of upside down and inside outness)
C -- Authenticity (where possible, avoidance of reflex copying)
D -- The Enormous, Largely Unrealized Potential of the Individual
E -- Freedom and Empowerment in Work
F -- Respect for the Dignity and Worth of Every Individual
G -- Inclusiveness
H -- The Enjoyment of Work
I -- Separating Money from Quality of Life (insofar as possible)
The point in this section is that, the way in which I go about identifying and analyzing the assumptions influencing volunteerism is strongly affected by the assumptions which influence me as an individual. In terms of the four-step process previously described, my personal predispositions might influence what I do with a system assumption, once identified--confirm it, supplement it, or reject and replace it. Indeed, the nature of the system assumptions I identify for study in the first place could be a reflection of underlying personal biases.
In the case of individuals, "belief might be a better term than "assumption," or, to connote challengeability, terms like "preconception" or "bias" might also be used. Of course, my own biases are always good and true of consequence...
Here then, insofar as I'm able to identify them--others might do better on that--are some of my basic beliefs and biases as an individual. They are in no particular order of importance; however, the first three are primarily about methodology while the remaining ones are more beliefs about the potential of people. There is considerable overlap and inter-connection among almost all of the basic beliefs described.
A ----- The power of assumptions vis a vis proof in determining trends and events for both systems and individuals, as described earlier in this packet. I sometimes have to remind myself that this belief in the power of assumptions is itself a belief of mine, and not factually demonstrable--not completely, in any case.
B ----- Intrinsic Maverick-ness. When seeking supplements or replacements for identified underlying assumptions, I incline towards opposites rather than other kinds of options, outright reversals rather than other alternatives. Thus, if concern about public safety is dominated by the incarceration assumption (the U.S. has the highest rate in the world), I gravitate towards "what ifs" protecting the public via non-incarceration assumptions. If the field of volunteer administration concentrates on structured volunteer programs in agencies, that tends to be a "red flag" which prompts me to promote involvement of volunteers outside of agencies, e.g., freelancers and grassroots volunteer groups. The red flag gets even redder when the subject assumption appears to be automatic, reflex, unconscious. The tendency to take opposite tacks can be realistic and healthy, realistic because "the opposite extreme" is quite likely to be neglected in terms of potential impact; potentially healthy because it can stir up some lively rethinking. Thus, the statement: "if we're over-structured, how about a little chaos?" is just outrageous enough to stimulate the cerebral (and other) juices. Still, the "outrageous" part of it has always been a little to seductive for me and I worry about taking too much childlike delight turning things upside down purely for effect... Should one really be having so much fun doing serious work?
C ----- Authenticity I have a strong aversion to copying anybody in regard to anything; this aversion undoubtedly verges on the unrealistic in some cases. On the other hand, I think a field gains enormously in power when based solidly on what is primary, special and original about its subject matter--its seminal circumstances. For volunteerism I see these seminal circumstances as:
--In a world where most people most of the time work for money, or hope to or have to, this person does not work for money (at least not primarily or directly).
--in a world where work is by and large an obligation, even a necessity, this person chooses to work and what kind of work, and can choose not to work.
--in a world pervaded by bosses, organizational objectives and plans, and numerous other ways to channel (control) the work of people, this person cannot be controlled by the usual means--orders from above and/or need for wages. The autonomy of the worker is fundamental in my primary perception of volunteering, meaning that literally and faithfully, we do build work around the person or group as distinct from trying to shape the person to fit work others have decided upon.
To the extent you agree with the seminal circumstances for volunteering as stated above, you may be as puzzled as I am about why organized volunteerism has been so prone to copy concepts and methods from business which seems to derive from very different, "opposite" seminal circumstances: that is, where people tend to work for money rather than "for free," with less choice and more "must" in what they do and how they do it, and more often for bosses. This is why I have been the skeptic at the feast when the latest hand-me-downs from corporate process are relished and appropriated in working with volunteers. I also think it is the main reason volunteer administration is seen as a subsidiary, derivative field. The reason is, it's true and it's true because we did it to ourselves. This is not to say the subsidization to business lacks its own rationales among which may be the fear of wasting volunteer time by being disorganized, and wishing to share the prestige generally attached to business and corporate enterprise in our society. But there are other ways of being organized and, as I've said, being who we really are, authentically, is the ultimate path to prestige.
And so, I've always tried to develop our own volunteer leadership methods from the ground up, learning from others as appropriate, of course, but primarily based on a fundamental perception of who we are, uniquely.
The next seven categories are beliefs about the people we work with. Here, I may be courageously supporting Motherhood, God, and the right to boo the Home Team! !!?? My only claim to worthwhileness in this exercise is the extent to which the beliefs annunciated are explicitly and unequivocally embodied in the methods I've developed.
D ----- The Enormous, Largely Unrealized Potential of the Individual, the belief that every individual or (small) group has the potential to make a positive difference. I deeply believe that present institutions and attitudes miss bringing out all but a fraction of the full potential of the individual human being. My key slogans here, have been: "Everyone has something to give. Our job is to give them a chance to give it," and "There are limits to what volunteers (people) can do. And those limits are in the imagination of leadership." The "our" in the first quote and the explicit reference in the second quote, indicate major responsibility in leadership (see later). Also understood in these quotes is that we mean every individual has the potential to make a positive difference. Also meant to be included with individuals, are groups, at least relatively small ones. (Why just small ones?) In both cases, the message is that we don't need to abdicate so much responsibility for positive change to huge, well-funded organizations or institutions, e.g., Big Government, Big Business, Big Labor, even Big Religion. Nor do we necessarily have to have a lot of money.
My basic operational concept here has been the Glad Gift, which by linking effort to enjoyment, is designed to bring out more of the talent and dedication of any individual. More broadly, the Window of Work, and the People Approach philosophy (Sec VI) are deliberate, specific, and thoroughgoing attempts to build work around people and thereby encourage the expression and development of latent talents and competencies. The three following predispositions are essentially ways of developing further the latent potential of individuals and together undergird a promising, asset-based view of the role of voluntary action in building community. In that vision, a lot of work besides my own would fit, e.g., John McKnight's concepts of neighborhood and Katie Noyes Campbell's insights on values (see summary of her article in Annotated Bibliography, Part III).
E ----- Freedom and Empowerment in Work. I believe deeply in allowing people the maximum of choice and self-determination in their work, the fullest opportunity to show what they can do without other people telling them what to do and how to do it. Obviously, there are situations, for example the military, in which a chain of command is vital; you can't allow soldiers to vote on whether or not they will go into battle. But in most other areas of work, I believe rhetoric is way ahead of practice in maximizing the voluntary and minimizing the obligatory.
The lead principle here has been MINIMAX: "Make the minimum difference in what a person wants to do and can do which has the maximum positive impact on other people (and oneself as well)." Key operational concepts include, as indicated above, the Glad Gift, the Window of Work, and the People Approach Philosophy in general. Other embodiments of the principle are the Quest or yearn-to-learn, none of this do I embrace chaos as an ideal. Rather, I have tried to develop methods which encourage organization powered from the inside, through intrinsic commitment to the work, rather than imposed from outside ...
My concern for individual empowerment has also been expressed in lack of enthusiasm for attempts, however well-intended, and adorned with euphemism, to guide and control the work of others; for example, job descriptions, training, supervision, evaluation, even recognition and reward and the process of management in general. The above listings are virtually point-for-point chapter headings in books on volunteer and other employment. But attempting to control the work of voluntary participants is my idea of a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron if you will. (( Figure I on the next page is a horrible example, more up-front than most, about what is really going on. Included in the bound edition only))
In addition to developing methods designed to enhance worker empowerment in any setting, I have also de-emphasized settings, e.g., agencies in which the above kind of control process is considered necessary. Instead, I've concentrated on volunteer and other workers as freelance individuals and in small grassroots groups.
The term "grassroots" reminds that, roughly speaking, there are two broad directions of influence in the attempted improvement of quality of life: from the bottom up (roots to flowers) and from the top down. The latter is exemplified in promulgation of policy, regulation, law, system change, supervision and the like, by those with authority to do so, with intended impact on those lacking such authority. By contrast, from-the-bottom-up causation emphasizes the importance of changing and strengthening individuals, "one at a time," in the belief that the sum of these individual enhancements is the main factor in the improvement of groups, organizations, neighborhoods, communities, nations, social systems and ultimately the world. This "psychological orientation" to social change has been my emphasis, though recognizing that both directions of change operate and are needed. This bias towards starting with individuals and working upwards follows directly from the beliefs described just previously in the vast potential in individuals and in empowerment through, work.
The Membership Input Process (Sec X) is an example of this emphasis. Ensuring that individuals have a clear channel for directly and realistically helping, decide group goals, produces healthier groups. The Window of Work and the Job Factor are also based on bottom-up thinking, though in a different way the belief that enabling more fulfilled individual workers will ultimately summate to produce more effective organizations. Finally, the entire thrust of building better neighborhoods (in "MEANWHILE BACK AT THE NEIGBBORHOOD") is essentially, developing stronger, happier individuals in that neighborhood from which, then, a happier neighborhood will be composed.
F ----- Respect for the Dignity and Worth of Every Individual. Once again, this is clearly implied by previously described beliefs in the vast unrealized potential of individual people, and their right to be empowered through choice in work and working conditions. Worth adding here is that my approach has tried to apply the same principle for the person as a receiver of help (client, patient, etc.). Thus, Need Overlap Analysis in Helping (NOAH -- Sec XV) includes a client review process and there is a checklist, for client feedback on volunteers. The entire section on NETWORKING blurs the distinction - between helpers and helpees- that is, makes us characteristically both, and thereby removes some of the onus unfortunately attributed to the role of client. However, I never did as much as I should have on this, especially in recent years. Indeed, without Hat Naylor to keep insisting that the vulnerable people volunteers work with are what it's all about, volunteerism conferences since her time could easily give the impression that volunteers were our essential ultimate clients...
G ----- Inclusiveness. I believe inclusiveness welcoming everyone has a strong functional as well as ethical basis. If we really want to move a community forward, we cant leave anyone out of consideration. This is first of all because everyone has something to give, potentially (see Section D), also because the kind of 100% problems we have today seem to demand 100% participation. Again, we need to consider in our planning all kinds of participants in all kinds of work settings, fully cooperating in the cause. It seems to me preachment is way ahead of practice on this one. For in fact, we have lived in an era of compartmentalization of services. Schools take care of education; hospitals take care of serious health problems; the recreation department takes care of recreation; I churches, synagogues and mosques take care of spiritual needs, etc. Since these institutions are largely staffed by quite intensively trained specialists, "ordinary people" can easily come to feel that they have little or nothing to contribute, help-wise, to other individuals or to their community.
That is one unrealism about the specialist assumption. Another is that, in fact, people's needs almost always cross agency lines. In any event, I've never met anyone whose needs were entirely addressed by any one agency or institution, This must be even more so for the needs of entire communities. As noted earlier, if it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes a village to raise a village, a city to raise a city, etc. The village or city in this case, means far more than all the agencies and institutions in a village/city, especially if they're not working together in a close, mutually supportive cooperation. Even with that, the "New Helping Team," as I've called it, must include grassroots groups and freelance individuals not ordinarily considered as part of the helping establishment--all in well-functioning networks. Still, many of us, when we think of community-building, have our favorite saviors, in some sense believed crucial to success: professionals of one type or another, elected officials, foundations, mandated community service people, stipend workers, informal helpers, volunteers, etc. Through most of my career, my own favorites were volunteers in the traditional sense of "free will, unpaid" participants. As noted, this may have been because this group was particularly promising in making the kinds of points I wanted to make, e.g., that you can and should build work around people, wherever possible; that work has value in and of itself, above and beyond what one is paid for it- etc. It's all to easy to be something of a snob about such a "favorite group" and I probably was, about volunteers, until recently, when I began to see that what we needed was everyone (Sec VII). My series in GRAPEVINE beginning with "The Expansion Checklist" (see annotated bibliography) demonstrated, to me at least, that such a "new helping team" is already developing. Vastly more work is needed, however, to make it really a team rather than a loose collection. We need to understand far better how to create and maintain smooth and productive interactions among the various kinds of people, groups, organizations, and agencies needed for community problem-solving. Paid staff in agencies especially needs to be better integrated as part of the team, and my work on Staff/Volunteer Relations is a beginning in that direction (see packet).
In all this, we are "going counter-culture" in a prevailing culture of competition between people and groups, which, in Western Society, tends to predominate in sports, the military, business, education, virtually all of modem society, certainly so in America, and certainly valid in many instances (do you want your military to cooperate with the enemy?). I nevertheless believe we should do more to I develop cooperative as distinct from competitive models in our society, particularly if we want people to include other people more often. Sometimes, our propensity to compete when we don't have to is shocking. Recently, a basketball coach instructed his players to stand back and allow a famous opposing player, who was injured and disabled, a free shot so she'd have a chance to break a career record. This--to me--generous gesture, on which the game didn't depend, anyhow, was fiercely criticized as a betrayal of the game.
"Beating" another person, or trying to, isn't being inclusive. Therefore my work developing Networking Methods (see packet) was designed to facilitate win-win interactions among people, and to some extent, groups as well. Examples include The Glad Gift Game, The Participation Poster, MINIMAX, Better Togethers, Guided Conversation, etc. (Sec VIII, IX) In addition, most of my work on Staff-Volunteer relations was designed to encourage these two groups to see themselves as allies rather - than adversaries. Finally, the work assignment grid process links people cooperatively in joint projects, because all participants are to the maximum enjoying what they are doing (see Section F).
Somewhat ironically, the positive case for inclusiveness also leads to a kind of exclusive attitude, that is, an aversion to elitism. I know that in some cases, we need to label people essentially as more or less fit to serve and able to contribute, e.g., via certification, academic degrees, special training, professionalism, and the like. But I've always been somewhat uncomfortable around such concept and practice, with a very low threshold for suspecting elitism, and excluding of genuine contributions from those who often arbitrarily, are denied the official cachet as helper. Once again, the window of work and glad gift concept was designed to show ways in which everyone can contribute. Indeed, my initial enthusiasm for volunteering was based on that premise so you can imagine how I feel when occasionally I encounter concepts such as the certified volunteer
H ----- The Enjoyment of Work. I strongly believe people should enjoy their work, find it meaningful and fulfilling, and that this is not only a right in the interests of humanity, but a necessity in the interest of longer-term effectiveness. Further, this enjoyment should inhere substantially in the work itself, rather than only or primarily in the purpose this work serves as well as any external incentives received in exchange for it--thus, the actual process of cooking a meal, not just the savory results of the process, or how much one might be paid for cooking it. There are tough issues underlying that simple assertion and so, a basic question for me has always been: "Why do people work and enjoy it?" When I was growing up, this would have been considered a silly question, usually; you were not suppose to enjoy your work. Maybe you might enjoy the money you got for it, the status associated with it, the purposes achieved, or a dour satisfaction in having discharged an onerous obligation. But not the work itself intrinsically and for its own sake. If Kipling could call work " my blessing not my doom ..." and Gibran could sing of work as "love made visible," well, you know how poets are
Let's first examine the wording of the question. By "enjoy," I do not necessarily mean the worker is laughing all the way to the office, the kitchen or wherever. The better expression might be: Why do people work and find it meaningful? The issue is important, because people spend most of their waking hours at work, especially when the term is understood in the broad dictionary sense of "serious effort with a purpose." That includes volunteer (unpaid) as well as paid employment, work in the home as well as the office or store, etc., indeed, everything that is not play or quiescence.
There are ominous indications that for many people in many work circumstances, waking hours at work are boring or actively unpleasant. Some years ago, a Gallup Poll concentrating on paid employment, found that about three-quarters of Americans did not enjoy what they were doing "to make a living"; indeed, for many, it was closer to "making a dying" in terms of the erosive effects on the worker's health and happiness. Add to this the damaging impact on those around the stressed and miserable worker as she/he "takes it out" on children, spouse, friends, neighbors, pets and strangers. On the positive side, I believe that meaningful work, in itself regardless of "external" motivators such as money, greatly enriches a person's life, health and happiness, and indirectly the same for those around her/him. (Cite Dr. Luks research)
My take on this state of affairs is that meaningful work should:
1) Relate to and express, as closely as possible, what the person wants to do and can do pretty well; what the person wants to learn; in what ways they want to grow, and what they want to see achieved.
2) At the same time, integrate as closely as possible with their core values and ethics.
3) Be clearly and validly perceived as being useful--to other people and groups, and in some sense to themselves as well.
The clearest embodiment of the first two principles is in my "People Approach" methods,(see Sec IV, pg 40), especially the "Window of Work" process, designed to identify and take account of a person's "glad gifts," "quests," "no-no's" and values ("wise why's"). Many other methods and strategies also pertain, e.g., the Work Assignment Grid, Need Overlap Analysis in Helping, The Membership Input Process, etc.
(more description of at least the window of work)?
I now see that my earlier commitment to study and encouragement of volunteering, stemmed largely from the recognition at some level that of all kinds of workers, it would be easiest to apply these three meaningfulness-enhancing principles to volunteers. In recent years, however, I've seen that the principles can be applied to all kinds of workers. They may be even more needed for people who "work for money" (Sec XIV) and/or not (fully) by choice. Thus, my treatment of paid staff in writings on staff- volunteer relations, insisted that staff should be treated as if they were volunteers, insofar as possible, -- even though paid. Note especially here, the Job Factor process, and my belief that intangible recognition and reward are at least as important for paid staff as for volunteers. Moreover, the window of work and allied processes are readily applicable to remunerated and obliged workers, even though originally designed for application to volunteers. In fact, about 15 years ago, I began to develop and apply a process for "volunteerizing paid work" (what a word!!). Overall, I came to see that what we call "volunteering" or "volunteerism" was more an attitude towards work than a kind of work. I defined that attitude as doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.
Specifically, on the third precept--that the work be perceived by the worker as useful/helpful to others--this was embodied in methods such as Need Overlap Analysis in Helping and the Membership Input Process, as well as the widely applied MINIMAX principle: "Make the minimum difference in what a person (or group) wants to do and can do, which has the maximum positive impact on other people, or groups." The carrier of this principle in implementation, is the "glad gift"--defined as something fairly specific a person likes to do, can do pretty well, and which might be of use to other people.
Most people in most situations can use some help and guidance in identifying their glad gifts and connecting them to need. The leadership called for here must be imaginative, going somewhat against the grain of current convention because assuming that the most important part of motivation is intrinsic rather than extrinsic--there on the inside if you have the interest, care and sensitivity to discover it, rather than extrinsic, laid on via incentives from the outside. The saying here has been, "In the adult human person, we do not create motivation: we discover it, then connect it to real need." The manner in which the connection is made between person and work done is the second imaginative/unconventional implication for process embodied in the Minimax principle. (Sec VIII) In the world of paid work, and much of the world of Volunteer Administration, we tend to start from, what job/needs are, and then seek people to fit into these jobs. (Ordinarily understood that a relatively few people decide what those jobs will be--but that might be arguable.) Following the Minimax principle we go in just the "opposite" direction, building the job around the person rather than trying to fit the person to the job. In other words, we start by discovering what the person wants to do, and can do (glad gifts, window of work, etc.) then try to connect this to a place where it can be productively engaged in meeting real needs. This empowerment-via-work often involves finding something the person actually enjoys doing, and this can upset people who, secretly or not, espouse what I call the sacrificial theory of helping, in which you have to be burned at the stake, or at least singed, to genuinely endow helping with meaning. I've always maintained otherwise, that "it doesn't have to hurt before it helps" and it is not indecent to put joy back in the job of helping. Indeed, we aren't going to make serious progress involving presently uninvolved people until we do find ways to base helping more on what is satisfying, even enjoyable, and more largely self-selected on the part of the potential helper. I know this cannot always be done, but I believe it can be done more than we do it now by applying the "people approach" (vs. "job approach") principle: start with the person and try to find the right job rather than start with the job and try to find the right person. Defining terms might also be "people-based" vs. "boss-based," or "asset-driven" vs. "obligation-driven."
Whatever it is called, I have always maintained it is one of the ways in which we can capitalize on the unique advantages of freedom/choice in the status of volunteer/community member, and one of the things volunteer administration may have lost by modeling so closely on the paid work/corporate concept of employee status. I guess I've always preferred to see volunteerism as a manifestation of democracy in action rather than accountability to and control by a business or other hierarchy. This clearly implies leadership by people who are more like elected representatives than business managers; also more like community organizers (find what the group wants to do and help them get it) instead of administrators (find what the organization wants to do and help them get it from the worker).
Of course, one real problem in such people-driven approaches, especially for people--probably most of us--who don't want to see things get out of control, is that you're never sure exactly what is going to happen when you release the person or group to do what they want to do and can do very well. You can, of course, refuse their service, and in any case you are likely to find something they can do it and want to do, which does fit the needs in which you are interested. But, still, a certain tolerance of surprise is necessary, things not going quite the way you'd planned or expected, and you might well recall the saying: "There's no such thing as a pleasant surprise." I'd respond to that: "There had better be some surprises, because if there aren't, you're failing to tap into the full potential of your people, which is always somewhat surprising."
So far our mainline approach in getting more people involved has been getting closer to their "intrinsic" motivations and capacities--a diagnostic approach if you like. By contrast, another approach could be called "engineering"--redesigning the work itself so that it will tend to be more attractive to more people. The methods implementing this engineering-of-work concept include "The Architecture of Work," "Style Profiling," "Division" (and if it can be found, "The Task Enrichment Checklist"). These methods, however, have not been as well developed as the more diagnostic methods embodying the Minimax principle, e.g., the Window of Work, the Work Assignment Grid, the glad gift game, and Minimax itself as a method rather than a principle. (Both diagnostic and approaches to the enjoyment of work are represented in the Work Enrichment Packet of the New Volunteerism Project.)
I -----Separtaing Caring from Money In most things, I am one of your garden variety capitalists. I believe that people who earn their money fairly through hard work and talent, providing good services and products at reasonable prices--I believe such people deserve to enjoy their money with such things as nice houses if they want them, fine automobiles, good food, enjoyable recreation, etc. However, like some other people I expect, Im still struggling to identify and justify the areas in which the amount of money a person has should not determine the amount or quality of services received--in other words the benefits that should be entitlements of all rather than purchasable by only some. I'm most confident of putting spiritual matters in this category. Most of us, I expect, would be offended by a ticket office at the door of the church, or mosque, or synagogue. No more will be said about the spiritual here, except to note that it has always been connected with healing, more closely in the past, perhaps, but seeming to be moving in that direction once again today. And healing is the second area of service which I would like to see de-linked from money, insofar as possible. I don't believe people should die earlier or suffer longer because they're poor. Moreover, I know of no instance ever in which commercialization improved the quality of caring for ordinary people. As witness to that, I give you the concern about the increasing portion of for-profits involved in Hospital care, and, of course, the sense of outrage about certain practices of HMO'S. Too often, orientation towards profit (with maybe, greed behind it) seemingly only cuts corners in a caring enterprise, but actually eviscerates its heart. I think the results are pretty well in on what happens to an originally philanthropically-oriented effort as it becomes more business oriented.
My theme here was the hope and belief that services incident to helping both individuals and communities stay healthy and happy could be kept affordable. That, to me, was the great promise of volunteerism, and more recently, stipend and obligated work, which is at least not highly paid. The vision was to keep quality of service high and prices down, and do this relying less on huge government programs or large formal philanthropies. I now think this promise--if that's what it was-- has been largely unrealized in agency volunteer programs, though it does often happen in entirely volunteer groups and as a result of individual freelance efforts. On the latter, there is a developing methodology here, or at least a set of coherent strategies, set out in a book press, entitled "MAKING DREAMS COME -TRUE WITHOUT MUCH MONEY: THE MIDWIFERY OF DREAMS" (ENERGIZE Inc., 1999 I hope). The core concepts in that book are published now as short articles entitled "Rules for Dreamers" and "On Becoming a Dreamcatcher."
Part III: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
This bibliography is meant to be used in association -with preceding Parts I and II of A Philosophy of Work and Community. Please note the following as to availability.
--each listing indicates whether the article is currently published or not
--articles never or no longer published may be available either as the sampler of five complete articles presented in Part IV (asterisked in the listings below)or in project archives, Part V. The Part IV sampler is sometimes included with the generally available packet on Philosophy, along with Part 1, II and III. If not, and for all the articles in Part V, writings are available insofar as possible, on special request and in limited number in the New Volunteerism Project Archives. In such cases, reimbursement of copying and mailing costs will probably be asked.
The present bibliography lists only material deemed most relevant to my philosophy of work and community-not by any means a complete listing
of my writings, nor claiming any coverage of the others' in similar subject areas. The one exception to the latter is an especially relevant recent article by Katie Noyes Campbell, duly noted.
The references are grouped in broad categories. Virtually every article, essay or book also has significance outside the category in which it has been placed. References within each category are generally listed chronologically
"EXPLORLING VOLUNTEER SPACE THE RECRUITING OF A NATION " 1980, 200 pp. The National Center for Citizen Involvement. ISBNO-934428-01-8 (A few remaining copies are currently distributed by ENERGIZE Inc @ Philadelphia, Pa.)
Chapters 1 and 2, especially, express the underlying philosophy of my approach to volunteerism. Following that, the book explores the different styles of participation open to people in a community, e.g. alone or with a group; continuously/regularly or occasionally/periodically; in a formal program or informally, etc.
**"THE NEW PEOPLE APPROACH HANDBOOK" Yellowfire Press, Boulder, Co, 1981, 82 pages (Out of print,- several copies in Part V archives, opening chapters reprinted in Part IV Sampler)
The first two chapters describe and advocate, especially for volunteers, the People Approach Philosophy. Main People Approach methods are then presented, notably MINIMAX and Need Overlap Analysis in Helping
"Old Philosophy and New Volunteerism" July, 1997, 4-page unpublished essay.
"in the seminal circumstance of volunteerism and the volunteer that I consider fundamental and special?" the person does not work primarily or directly for money choose to work and can choose not to work in a world pervaded by bosses and restricting structures, a great potential for autonomy in work.
"On a Personal Note" Sept/Oct 1997. Pp. 8-9. GRAPEVINE
Farewell with very brief summary of my philosophy/approach.
"Basic Models - What's Special About Us?" 1997, Unpublished 3-page essay for the New Volunteerism Project.
Underlying beliefs in my approach specifically, place less emphasis on a business corporate model and more on an ethical/civic model e.g. the importance of choiceful participation for health and growth of a free society.
"What is Special About the New Volunteerism Approach?" January, 1998, 3-page unpublished essay. Contrasts the "New Volunteerism' philosophy with traditional Volunteer Administration in terms of:
-The Setting (the entire community)
-The Workers (Anyone and everyone who can help)
-Goal-selling ("By the People" instead of from above)
-Motivation (discover what the person or group already has vs "creating" motivation)
-Mode of Operation (less like business)
-Problem-solving (getting better questions,- uncovering and sometimes 'flipping' underlying assumptions)
(Closely related to preceding section as essentially one dimension of philosophy)
"Values in Volunteerism: Time to Reconsider" 1978, " Voluntary Action Leadership, pages 38-39.
Five Main Values described are Pride In Work, The Opportunity to Participate, Freedom/Free Choice, Actualizing the Ethics of Caring, and The Worth and Power of the Individual.
**'The Imitation of Volunteers: Towards an Appropriate Technology of Voluntary Action" 1981, Volunteer Administration, Vol XIV, No. 1, Pages 1-6.
( What leadership behavior is implied by the basic values we hold, as modeled for us by volunteers- (See Section IV)
"Keeping Our Eyes on the Mountaintop" Katie Noyes Campbell, The Journal of Volunteer Administration, Summer, 1997, pages 2-4.
(" for us as volunteer administrators, the mountain consists of the values that we hold to be true, that capture the essence of our commitment to volunteerism.")
(We need to have involved, not just volunteers in agencies but everyone, in all kinds of community and work settings)
"MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE NEIGHBORHOOD"1984, Yellowfire Press, Boulder, Colo. 62pp. (Out of Print;- about 15 copies in project archives, Part V)
Philosophy, Advocacy, principles and methods for strengthening people's involvement in neighborhood groups, with emphasis on networking and informal/ individual participation.
"WHEN EVERYONE'S A VOLUNTEER.- THE EFFECTVFE FUNCTIONING OF ALL- VOLUNTEER GROUPS" 1992, ENERGIZE, Inc. Philadelphia, PA, 63 pages.
Philosophy, justification, principles and methods for extending leadership interest and competencies beyond agency volunteer programs, where volunteers work in association with paid staff, to entirely volunteer, and often "grassroots" groups.
"Working With Grassroots Groups." MANAGING VOLUNTEER DIVERSITY. Sue Vineyard and Steve McCurley, eds. 1989. Heritage Arts.
1) "Grassroots groups" is defined, and examples given along with the advantages that might accrue from working with such groups
2) Describes strategies and tactics by which a formal service agency, specifically its volunteer or community relations decision, can reach out and productively link with grassroots groups via a)identification of appropriate groups; b) persuading them to work with the agency; and c)negotiating win-win relationships with them
"Towards A New Helping Team: An Expansion Checklist" July/Aug, 1996, Page 8, GRAPEVINE.
Presents checklist to determine how many different kinds of workers (who would not have been called "volunteers' as recently as 5-1O years ago) today's Director/Coordinator of Volunteers is actually engaged with.
**Volunteer Administration.-An Emerging Misnomer" Nov/Dec 1996, page 11, GRAPEVINE
Results from 53 practitioners who completed and returned the Expansion Checklist strongly confirms that people with the role description, Director or Coordinator of volunteers, actually deal with many types of workers and working conditions that would not ordinarily be called "volunteer." (Since publication, sample has grown to about 100 with basically identical results)
"Volunteer Administration: Meadows Beyond the Garden." 1996, page 9-10, GRAPEVINE
Describes and urges attention to areas beyond agency volunteer programsin which community leadership roles could be developed e.g. entirely volunteer groups, freelance individual volunteers, etc-
"Volunteerism: Is There Life After Agencies?" Mar/Apr 1997, page 10., GRAPEVINE.
To "..consider volunteers existing outside agencies as a proper and promising field of enterprise for organized volunteerism." e-g. Consultant and Contract Operator to entirely or mainly volunteer groups.
**'Leadership of Volunteers-Roads We Might Still Take" August, 1997, 6 pages, widely distributed unpublished essay, now included complete in Sampler, Part IV.
"Road less traveled' by organized volunteerism or volunteer administration include volunteers working outside of staffed agencies,- volunteers engaged in mutual assistance to one another a release rather than a control model of engaging with volunteers, and the leader's role more as minister than as manager.
THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF DREAMS
(In a real sense, an instance of incisiveness dealt with in the previous category, especially related to the individual having a visionary goal and "going for it")
"Guerrilla Goodness: Making Dreams a Realty Through Volunteerism' Interview of Ivan by Ed and Gay Wynn in the magazine "In Context" #37. 1994. pages 27-29.
Mainly on any philosophy of volunteerism as a way to "..empower the creative spirit, to make volunteering for dreamers again" Emphasis on the people approach philosophy, especially informal volunteering by individual freelancers and/or in grassroots entire volunteer groups.
"Rules for Dreamers" (6 pages typed and has been published at least twice.)
Cautions and encouragement for individuals (mainly) in pursuit of their vision, purpose or goal of personal and/or community significance.
**"On Becoming a Dreamcatchers" Jan/Feb 1996, pages 6-7, GRAPEVINE.
" the purpose of this role is to help people achieve their dreams, where dream means a goal, purpose of vision, especially one which promises to enhance quality of life in a community. The article outlines original characteristics and tactics in a role which deals mainly with individuals rather than groups or organizations as contributors to the community.
"MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE WITHOUT MUCH MONEY.- THE MIDWIFEREY OF DREAMS' A book which has been accepted for publication by ENERGIZE INC of Philadelphia, PA. In press. About 100 pages.
Essentially, a book-length expansion of the philosophy and methods embodied in above-listed articles: "Rules for Dreamers" and On Becoming a Dreamcatcher" There is, however, considerable new material bearing on this general theme, in a section on "Why Dreams Die."
(Identifying an assumption impacting what we do, then asking what if we made a different assumption. Such assumption-flipping frequently characterizes my work. "What follows are only two fairly 'pure' examples with much more in the project pack & on Creative Problem-Solving)
"Helping Fields Are Not the Same as Helping Programs." Unpublished 7-page essay, VOLUNTAS, 1993 revised and expanded in 1998.
"By helping field as distinct from helping program I mean an overall situation and atmosphere which intrinsically and naturally leads to a wide range of voluntary contribution " like "..the difference between a water pump and a magnetic field."
"Pulling Help From People (As You Need It)". Unpublished two-page essay, with Laura Friedlander, VOLUNTAS, 1992.
Argues for.. a better balance between persuading helpers to get more help and teaching helpees how, to draw it from others, as genuinely needed." And wonders if "..the ability to attract needed help (can) be developed as a competency beyond a person's natural ability or propensity .. for this."
Part IV: Sampler of Several Key Philosophy Publications
The present section is a collection of five essays published during the course of my career. Though each of them is less comprehensive, they tend to cover specific aspects of philosophy more completely. Moreover, taken as a group, they show evolution of the philosophy from near-exclusive emphasis on volunteers towards the broader preview of the new volunteerism.
The six essays included are:
1 -- "The Imitation of Volunteers: Towards An Appropriate Technology of Voluntary Action" in Volunteer Administration, Vol XIV, Number 1, 1981. 6 pages ©
2 -- THE NEW PEOPLE APPROACH HANDBOOK. Yellowfire Press, Boulder, CO. 1981 @
3 --"Leadership of Volunteers Roads We Might Still Take." Unpublished essay prepared as background for a think tank. August 1997. 6 pages @
4 -- Volunteer Administration: An Emerging Misnomer." Grapevine. Nov/Dec. 1996, 1 page ©
5 -- "On Becoming a Dreamcatcher." Grapevine. Jan/Feb. 1996. 3 pages ©
7 -- "Not Just For Laughs." 1985. Yellowfire Press @
Part V: ARCHIVES
Five of the most vital background readings will be included intact in Part IV "Sampler of Several Key Philosophy Publications." The larger total of relevant readings is identified in Part III: "Annotated Bibliography." In all, there are about 25 such publications, including much or most of the content in several books.
As noted in the preface to this section on philosophy, these writing will be included only as available and on special request from serious students, with reimbursement of copying and mailing costs usually requested.
As of June, 1999, my personal library contains copies of all of the archival publications, sometimes several copies of each, but often only a single copy. Sometime in the next year or two, I plan to donate this archival collection to one or two libraries which agree to house the total collection of my works on a continuing basis, in a way which makes this collection readily accessible to people seriously interested in understanding and applying my work.
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340
For comments and editing suggestions please contact Mary Lou McNatt firstname.lastname@example.org