Choose to believe and look for the glue
I wanted to write about the 100th Anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC) but felt deflated because it was a movement that changed a country but I couldn’t hand on heart say that it’s transition to being a political party has been the success that it should have been and the allegations of corruption and political infighting are a far cry from the dignity of Nelson Mandela’s inclusive rainbow nation.
I didn’t want to write something negative about a cause I believe in and think that others should too. This led to a wider conversation with the lovely Katy Cory who agreed and added “this is the problem with movements that we want and need to believe because the headlines of what they are they for and what they do are so important but generally they don’t deliver, for example the United Nations (UN)”. We wouldn’t want to ‘out’ the UN as not having the muscle to deliver what it needs to because we know the world is better because of the concept of the UN but is this right? Do we expect less or are our expectations too high, after all it was Mandela who said “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb”.
That conversation has haunted me all afternoon. My disappointment with the ANC is firmly with its political transition where its leaders are failing the people who really need them while they indulge in the power struggles and greed that plights politics all over the world. The movement that that freed people from the Apartheid regime was amazing and resulted in a change that should always be believed in, they seem to have lost their way and I hope this anniversary puts a spotlight on that.
We were so quick to judge an organisation like the UN for its lack of tangible delivery but the truth is some things need to happen and they don’t always have a hard output that can be measured, does that mean they have failed, disappointed us or worse don’t give us a reason to believe?
When I though about this in the workplace I realised it had been 3 years since we had worked on an enabling project, a project that will help get a tangible result, but not directly, it provides the infrastructure or the glue that brings a number of people, concepts and processes together to get the result. Enabling Projects need a reason to believe that goes beyond a hard deliverable, something that you know should happen because so many things will be better because of it, the greater good…sadly this kind of thinking doesn’t resonate in these economic times but it should.
So, when you are reviewing what projects you are supporting in 2012, think about what you need to deliver in terms of output and how many of these deliverables could be brought home if you linked them together through an enabling project – the glue, infrastructure, sanctions that could provide the greater good that makes it all happen. Spare a thought for those organisations like the UN without which the world would be a worse place (Major Achievements of the UN).