C is for... Change?

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"One thing they never tell you about child raising is that
the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected
to know your child's name and how old
he or she is."    
- Erma Bombeck

The summer days continue!  I think we all do spend more time in reflection during this sunny, somewhat slower time. For me, summer brings our grandchildren (and their parents) from Alberta to Vancouver. Being with them causes me to reflect on those really hard days I had of being a full-time, stay-at-home mom. Currently, one "dotter" is a full-time mom and one son is a stay-at-home dad, so their days have many similarities to the days I spent with them. And also many differences.

In the "olden days" we watched Sesame Street - which is still being produced as a great program! The Electric Company (where our kids met Spiderman) was in the same league, from my perspective. Now I understand there is also Sid, the Science Kid, Dora the Explorer, Super WHY, Word World, Dinosaur Train, Franklin, The Backyardigans, Clifford, the Big Red Dog... These are all very interesting to this grandmother who remembers sincerely disliking Mr. Dressup, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and The Friendly Giant. All this newness makes me wonder if today's TV programming is successfully delivering the outcomes the creators and producers seek. Do these programs provide children with the kind of background information that will serve them best in their lives, in school, and later in the work world? Are they measuring that? How? Is it working?

If so, have we made any similar headway in our community organizations? At Vantage Point, we are in the business of providing people with opportunities to learn how to be great Executive Directors and great members of the Board of Directors. So I have to wonder if we have moved the bar in the learning environment as we have in TV programming. Have we created a Super WHY kind of place, or are we still mired in Mr. Dressup? Have we made the idea of learning more enticing? Is that possible? Truly it is difficult to learn and grow and change. Maybe we are being silly to think we can make it desirable?

Change is a tricky thing - it is essential, and yet we often resist it. For instance, my dotter-in-law says they have tried to change Cookie Monster too much! It's okay for him to like carrots and oatmeal - in his cookies. But she thinks they seem to be taking him away from being the Cookie Monster. In my world, positive change is often equivalent to pushing not-for-profits to behave more like businesses. Why is that? We must be able to have good, solid practices - in our community organizations. Why would we want to be more like businesses? I know very few of those that are exemplary.

 So that leaves us with many questions about enticing you as we schedule our fall learning opportunities... In the meantime, I hope I do a good job of remembering the names of the many creatures in my life - our four kids, their partners, and their kids, as well as our new Vantage Point people. Like Erma Bombeck - and grandmothers everywhere - it isn't always an easy task, and I often get these names wrong. I also hope you will remember our name, and especially who we are. For just as the Cookie Monster will always crave cookies, Vantage Point people will always crave new and innovative ways to inspire and build leadership in our community organizations.

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Vancouver, BC V6E 2X5


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