So…what is the POC up to?

As some of you recall, we have something called the POC (Participatory Organizational Council for long).  It has been working to improve how we work for the past several months.

Lately, a few questions have come up about what exactly the POC is, what is it doing, who is on it, what is its purpose and so forth.  So…here is one POC member (yours truly) offering some answers to commonly asked questions.

QUESTION:  So…what the heck is the POC?

The POC is a key element in the process being used by the North American Territory that is facilitated by the Adizes organization.  Adizes (named after the last name of the guy who started and runs the company) is a global consulting firm with a rather renowned reputation.  Google the name and you’ll find books, articles and all sorts of interesting things.  Adizes has helped the Legion with several projects, both in North America, but also in Brazil and Spain.

QUESTION:  How did this get started?

We started in March with 33 Legionaries, consecrated and lay members gathered at Thornwood for several days devoted to identifying areas where we need improvement.  It was a rather broad discussion, with more than 400 PIPs identified.  (A PIP is a “potential improvement point” and the group clearly thought we had some areas where improvement was possible.)  Then the group narrowed down the list and the POC was appointed to decide what opportunities to address first and get working on them.

QUESTION:  What is the objective?

Adizes helps an organization identify its strengths and weakness and make sure the organization is structured to be more effective.

QUESTION:  Sounds like common sense – why do we need someone to help us?

Well, it certainly involves common sense.  But if we knew how to sort this all our by ourselves I guess we wouldn’t have found it so easy to identify more than 400 things that need fixing.

QUESTION:  Lovely…so has the POC accomplished anything?

Absolutely.  Here are a few specifics:

  • Guidelines for a locality fundraising model
  • Communications model/flow tool and message mat (if you aren’t familiar with these and would like to be, contact me personally and I’ll be happy to explain….if you have a team of people, I’ll be happy to set up a training webinar)
  • Study about subsidiarity, what it really is and how we have implemented it in various places and levels of our organization
  • Training on administrative procedures to a variety of centers
  • Teams to support the development of the Dallas and NY localities
  • First ever survey of all Legionaries, consecrated and lay members in North America, generating more than 1500 responses.  The results of the survey were critical in the creation of the territory’s Mission Action Plan.
  • A Process for the implementation for the MAP

And perhaps more important that any of these specific items, the POC is providing a forum for discussing issues among all three branches of the Movement’s family:  Legionaries, consecrated, lay.

Oh…and there are a number of teams appointed by the POC that are working on additional opportunities to improve how we work.

QUESTION:  Who gets to be on the POC?

There is a rumor going around that this is a highly confidential arrangement and membership is determined by a secret formula handed down from the Druids.  This is not the case.  People are selected by the DT on the recommendation of the existing team members.  People rotate on and off with the objective being to get different opinions and perspectives.  Sometimes people are asked to participate because they have special expertise.  And the POC appoints work teams with people from all parts of the territory.  Being on the POC isn’t a reward or a penalty; it is an opportunity to serve.

QUESTION:  Is it true there are more consecrated women on the POC than Legionaries?

That was true at the November meeting of the POC.  A couple new POC members were consecrated and one of the Legionaries had a conflict and couldn’t attend.  There is an effort to maintain a balance among the different branches of the family, but the balance might not be perfect if you take a single slice of time.  Over the long term, all branches will have the opportunity for plenty of input.

QUESTION:  Who is the head of the POC?

The “management” sponsor of the POC is Fr John Connor LC.

About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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