Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Small Groups of Committed People

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.

It is a wonderful, inspirational sentiment. Indeed, it has helped inspire me to take action, to continue down difficult paths, to join with like minds, and more. Precisely, I imagine, what Margaret Mead had in mind. On the surface, it seems to promote change on the grand (world) scale, but I often see it quoted in far more local applications. Perhaps less of what Ms. Mead had in mind, but, if it causes folks to take action for causes in which they believe, then so much the better.

But here’s an interesting twist: What happens when two or more groups all believe themselves to be the “small group of thoughtful, committed people” within a single organization, or arguing different aspects of a single issue.

Hmmmmm…. I don’t propose any particular answer but more pose the question and wonder if anyone has insightful anecdotes to share whether they be filled with wisdom, humour, or strife. From an administrative point of view, such a conundrum happens fairly frequently I suspect, and, in my case, is happening currently. Perhaps I'll end this post with another quote from Ms. Mead that might lend a little bit of insight into a possible answer:

"If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place."

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