• Daniel Pryfogle

You Care About This Institution? Then Ask a Few Brave Souls to Leave


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In a time of profound change, how does an established institution with decades of isolating habits and ingrained behaviors of fortifying defenses take the risk to open itself to genuine newness?


First, the institution sends out scouts. The institution commissions a few brave souls to leave. It acknowledges the validity of experiences beyond its doorstep.


The scouts meet others. They encounter institutions that got out, way out, into neighborhoods and cities. The scouts notice the energy these institutions come upon when moving out, energy not of the institutions' own making yet energy that makes its way into the institutions as they venture.


The scouts marvel at this wonder. They had believed that their institution produces energy; they had believed that life depends upon their actions and that death is the failure to make life happen. At all costs they had avoided death. But now the scouts see beyond their fear. They see there is energy outside the institution. They witness movement, creation, real life, which means life amid death.


The scouts start making maps. They chart new routes of direction and illuminate markers of destination.


Next, the scouts notice the spaces in between. They recognize energy between institutions, energy between individuals and groups, fields of energy that expand with participation. So the scouts fill in the details in between, points of flow, connection and intersection.


Finally, the scouts return to the institution. They bring back their report.


This is the most perilous stage of the journey. Will the institution believe the report? Will the institution trust the new maps?


Most importantly, will the scouts trust themselves?


Will the scouts trust what they have seen and heard, trust the validity of their experience, trust themselves enough to let go of persuading those who stayed behind?


Moreover, will the scouts trust their calling by the institution? It was a courageous commission, a brave blessing the institution bestowed. So will the scouts hold onto the blessing, even amid fear?


Then, will they turn their scouting toward the institution that sent them. Will they search until they find the yearning here that's greater than fear?


If so, the next step is for the others. Their next step is to trust themselves such that they go out, way out, too.


Daniel Pryfogle is cofounder and CEO of Sympara. If your institution wants to send out scouts on a journey of discovery, contact Daniel to get outfitted for the journey.

In memory of Sympara cofounder Marcie "Sister Wildfire" Giarrizzo (1948-2019) and member Desmond Hoffmeister (1960-2016).

 

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