Let’s Get Some Light in Here

Some guys get a red sports car, some guys climb Everest and some guys get a new job – it looks like I’m going to experience my mid-life crisis a bit differently.

I joined rtraction a little over 8 years ago. We decided early on to get involved with the community and develop make CSR (corporate social responsibility) the very heart of our operation. We did this with no expectation of any business benefit, but it turned out to be the thing that defines us as an organization. We’ve met the most wonderful dedicated people working in the trenches to make this community a better place.

From a personal standpoint, my work with local non-profits has also given me a lens into the inner workings of this community.

While I see some pretty amazing things happening in places I never imagined I also see some things that are preventing our community from taking the next big step forward – politics and silos.

How does a silo get built? I’ve seen two types:

  1. silos of self-interest Рorganizations now that are either led or heavily influenced by individuals who are either resumé building or kingdom building
  2. silos of protectionism – organizations that protect their “turf” for fear of losing funding, constituency or influence

Both of these hold our community back – the first type doesn’t bring enough dedication to have any long term impact and the second squanders too much time and effort on efforts that are all about maintaining the status quo.

Silos inhibit progress and London has a lot of silos.

Politics is the fertile soil in which silos grow. However, unlike fruitful organisms politics and silos often thrive in dark places.

After talking with a number of intelligent people, I’d like to put forward an idea that could throw open some windows. This is going to be a completely open project in every sense possible and the product that comes out the other end will be available for anybody/anywhere to help make their community a better place.

An outline of the project will be available here later this week and everyone’s input is welcome and encouraged. The plan is to have it available mid-summer for the fall election cycle – but it’s utility is designed to go far beyond October 25th, 2010.¬† Stay tuned.