The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The “How” makes a difference

In the last few days, I’ve been reflecting about the work done by some organizations and built the hypothesis, that some organizations have lost their focus. In times in which movements appear and spread there is a growing invitation to follow trends. To search for the quick success of a movement. There is the assumption that if it becomes viral it will be a success.

That might be true for videos that become viral on YouTube or for tools like a fidget that appeared and seemed to be present everywhere until it disappeared.

It’s different when the movement is there to transform culture.

When an organization is a place for members to gather and help to transform society, then it has historically been handled by members. The commitment to a purpose gave a clear idea of how society and the organization could be served. Members found ways to act towards this purpose.

With the rise of movements, there is a shift towards gaining influence. Social media seem to show the worth of Influence. The measurement for influence is clicks and views. The hope is that the larger one’s influence, the more people will follow.

In both cases, the aim might remain to contribute to a defined purpose.

The difference between both is where the attention, time and effort go.

That is, how the purpose is being achieved.

With a movement, a huge part of the effort is spent on gaining influence, it is doing work aimed at success in the future. There is no guarantee that influence will be achieved. And once influence is there, it is not clear if it will be possible to transform it into the promised results. This is something we can observe in France. During the last weeks, the yellow vests movement has been fighting the movement which brought the president into office. A president who has been elected by a majority, but one that he didn’t receive based on his project.

A different way to achieve the purpose was to have local organizations commit to local projects. These projects were an effort to achieve one’s goals by contributing on a regular basis and creating immediate results. The projects might have been small, less visible, but they created results. The achievements only become visible in the long term. The result being the work of many, rare are the ones who become well known. Serving a small audience is tangible but difficult when there are so many out there who could see us. But it does allow to be proud of one’s work.

It’s difficult to be proud of having influence.

Writing daily doesn’t lead to immediate success. But the drip, drip, drip has an impact.

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