Str Plan Part VII.html

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Responses from Tom Caruso:
Thanks very much for sharing the strategic plan documents. I'm very excited about the progress made over the last year towards a strategic plan developed with full openness and welcome to those who have expressed an interest in participating, and I'm sad I couldn't join you at the Face-2-Face in SF.

After reading the document I have only one question related to the research component of the strategic plan

Am I correct in understanding that the following entry in the detailed table indicates that CNVC will not provide any additional resources towards developing a research program (which I assume excludes resources that you are currently putting towards this program in teleconference support and administrative oversight by Gary Baran and Kit Miller)?

Research Promote research on NVC
5 - This item surfaced, and we had preliminary discussions about it without reaching consensus even about general directions. At the same time, we believe this item to be significant, or received input that it is important for a significant portion of our constituency. We therefore recommend that it be assigned to the Executive Director, the
board, or a future configuration of the strategic planning committee for further consideration and to develop a plan or recommend dropping it. For some items we state to whom we would like it to be assigned. In other cases we have not had sufficient discussion to make that recommendation, and leave this decision to a future configuration of the strategic planning committee.
Existing committee headed by Tom Caruso
While Tom's group is already working on this issue, we recommend that CNVC not allocate resources to new activities in this area.

I am satisfied with moving research objectives to a later date, because I understand the need to limit resources in this direction considering the overwhelming need for improved coordination of CNVC activities. The NVC Research Committee members have clearly understood from the beginning that funding for its efforts would mostly come from grants.

In fact the NVC Research Committee has already submitted one major grant to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (turned down in late June, but to be resubmitted again with more preliminary data in February 2005), and we are pursuing smaller opportunities individually to build a preliminary result base needed to win larger awards. However, I would like to stress that research on the behavioral and social influences of NVC will be critical to a wide adoption of NVC in schools and other institutions, particularly state and federal government agencies, who rely on academic validation of their reasons for moving forward with major initiatives that incur significant costs. Furthermore, substantial funding for research on NVC will not materialize without significant preliminary evidence that NVC maybe a useful tool for particular behavioral or societal problems. Philanthropy and foundations are typical sources of funding for preliminary research necessary to bootstrap a major research program.

Members of the NVC Research Committee are pursuing foundation sources of funding, so I wonder if you would be willing to consider providing investment of resources in year one and two for supporting an effort to raise philanthropy to support NVC research at an earlier stage in the development of CNVC?

For your information, and possibly for eventual inclusion in your strategic plan, I have attached the NVC Research Committee Intentions document. I continue to pursue input from the committee concerning this document. I also provide you with information about the members of the NVC Research Committee.


Responses from Rita Herzog:
A few comments about the Strategic Plan
I have to say it -- much of it reads like deja vu all over again. And, it feels comforting to see many of the ideas I tried to offer the Board, coming from a focused group that maybe the Board will take seriously.

1. I strongly agree that the priorities as stated are essential to the effectiveness and credibility of CNVC. Trying to do too many things, for too many people, for too many years, without a reality check as to our organizational abilities, has stimulated frustration and despair, leading to lack of trust and connection. I believe this is at the heart of the issue for Europeans and others who feel at odds with the American CNVC office. (And just being an American in the world today is problem enough.)

I do feel skeptical about the organization's ability to stick with the proposed priorities; Gary has been known to say "yes" when a "no" (with empathy, of course) was called for, considering priorities and resources. I recommend a plan to support him
he will need some very specific guidelines as to how to spend his time, and may need actual practice in saying a giraffe no", with lots of empathy for himself, too. (Gary has given me permission to talk about him.)

2. I am confused by the discussion about branch offices. The plan for them to raise their own money, sell materials, and offer training, sounds like a regional NVC group, committed to spreading NVC. Why will they be called "offices" rather than the network groups already existing and newly forming?

I recommend that the NEEDS relating to the strategy of branch offices be fully explored, and checked out with Europeans and others first. In other words, what are the purposes and intended outcomes of establishing branch offices? What activities would they engage in that would meet the needs expressed? Only then can I imagine a productive dialogue on the three discussion items and numerous questions listed.

3. I want to support consensus around this statement, "CNVC has the responsibility to maintain the integrity of the NVC process, e.g. through certification of trainers of NVC, oversight of translations of Marshall Rosenberg's works by those CNVC trusts to have a firm grasp of NVC, and protecting his intellectual property." If the Board is educated about, understands, and agrees to this commitment, this will preclude, for instance, unplanned discussions at Board meetings about whether or not to continue trainer certification.

4. This brings up one last point. In hindsight, if I knew then what I know now, I would have used up whole Board meetings for one purpose, and one purpose only 

1) To explore these questions
--What do I understand as to the role and purpose of the Board in relation to CNVC?
--How do I see my role as a CNVC Board member?
--What needs am I meeting as a member?
--What responsibilities am I willing to undertake?

2) After getting all this out on the table, then the hard work begins --to listen to each other, to marvel at the diversity of it all, and then how to come to a mutual understanding, so that everyone has the same intent, is on the same page. Only then can the Board hope to come to a place of speaking with one voice to Gary, to Marshall, and to the NVC community.

All this before discussion (and disagreements, of course) of issues begins. Otherwise, the investment of time, effort, and expense of coming together for five days will not be protected, and the same agenda items might appear over and over again at ensuing meetings. One last challenge will be to agree on the group process used to conduct meetings, including a specific process on how decisions are made.

Well, what an unexpected way for me to give myself empathy! If any of this is useful, so much the better.

Warmly, Rita

CNVC Strategic Plan – August 2004 version