A Day at the Big Complex Meeting

An appropriately named annual meeting of UUA District Staff, the BCM or Big Complex Meeting, is underway here in Boston at the Hyatt.  For the 3rd consecutive year, there has been a designated and structured day with some of the UUA staff who work in "Boston" "25" "41" and the "home office" as I heard it referred to today.  I attended and enjoyed seeing the 66 other faces and names of District Staff and UUA local staff, some of whom after 7 years I’m still getting to know better.

We heard a speaker this morning from a local organizational consulting firm, she talked about Leadership, Thresholds and Problems.  I found some of it to be very interesting, particularly a piece about there being two kinds of Problems, Technical and Adaptive.  A technical problem is something with a clear definition and solution, like my bike has a flat tire.  Adaptive problems are complex and changing in nature, such as….racism!  Adaptive problems lack clear definition, there is no simple solution, and ultimately they are not solved purely by person(s) in authority but require an attitude and behavioral shift.  I found this helpful.

At the last half of the day we did some fishbowl conversations, taking turns between UUA non-district staff and district staff being in the middle.  We discussed what we found most interesting/exciting about our jobs, what we found most frustrating, and what we appreciated most, with respect to one another.  It was insightful, fast-paced, and something I’ll remember.

Afterwards I had a short talk with Mr. Philocrites, which I will follow up on more later.

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