He organized for the wrong purpose
by Phil Bartle, PhD
Short stories to illustrate the principles
“Organizing is organizing, right?” The people had clearly said they wanted to raise awareness about unfair rents in their neighbourhood. Philip knew that they needed to get organized and so he helped them to form a committee, with a chair person, a vice chair person, a treasurer and a secretary. They had regular meetings and made decisions that the rents should be lowered to a fair price.
What Philip had not known is that there is organising and organizing. He had organized an old fashioned structure, with minutes, details of records corrected, taking up huge amounts of time for no good result. The committee was not organized for action.
Fortunately, Philip recognised the problem, and looked up his notes on organizing. He helped them to form an action committee, with someone to coordinate the activities, someone to make representation to the press, someone to draw up a community manifesto or demand for change, and people to do various things, make posters, make signs for public demonstrations, organise demonstrations, consult with a sympathetic lawyer in case it were needed, and other things as they brainstormed and thought up what would be needed to be done. The result was some real action that resulted in many of their demands being met.
Note: These stories are based on actual events. The names of people and places have been changed for the sake of anonymity.
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