The Mary Parker Follett Network

Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. - MPF

Network members Francois Heon and Emmanuel Grouton have taken the initiative to organize a a Follett-inspired gathering, with the agreed date of October 14-15, 2011, and location in the Boston area. This discussion focuses on the details of that gathering. 


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Sorry, I did not that there were so much members registered to this network (I have just registered myself few days ago). My two-days seminar idea could be inadequate and unrealistic! 

Sébastien Damart said:
I think there is not enough time to enter into a large-scale communication process. Isn't it possible to organize a two-days seminar with round table discussions on 4-5 topics (for example, "How to make 'integration' a practical concept for managers?", "Follett's contributions in public policy making", etc.) with 4-5 papers supporting discussions?

Matthew Shapiro said:

Some things worth thinking about at this point (although perhaps this is the purpose for a committee):

 

1- Format: Can be anywhere from people presenting papers (ugh) to one big non-stop conversation with no structure (can be fun but also frustrating). Likely something in between. One big group? Smaller interest groups? Both? Preparation before the meeting like in the "Follett Conversation" some years ago, or just come as you are?  How many people, and what they organize themselves there, will in turn affect the desired length of the gathering and the kind of space needed.

My own bias is for a focused-yet-open conversation emphasis, with some in a more intimate gathering space that allows for 24-hour focus (e.g., in a retreat setting) is the most satisfying. But a retreat is more expensive than perhaps simply using university meeting rooms.

However, if it's a very small gathering, there will be less of a need there will be for structure and less dependence on environment.

 

2 - Whether it will be designed to satisfy "academic" interests - i.e., sometimes professors, graduate students will be sponsored to go to conferences if they get to present something or there is some kind of proceeding published afterwards. Something to consider when so many Follett fans are in the academic world. Something to consider when planning structure.

 

3 - Getting the word out - If there is a desire to have something as large as possible, then advertising will be important, as soon as possible. That, in turn, can't be done until a format is set, costs identified, etc.  There are lots of channels that can be used, of course, particularly with electronic media as they are today.

Hello Sébastien,

 

Thank you for your suggestions!

 

As I see it, a number of people have shown real interest in either co-organizing and/or attending a fall event celebrating MPF (Emmanuel Groutel, Albie Davis, Matthew Shapiro, John Sarvey, Clifford L. Norman and Sébastien Damart). The first thing to confirm is the actual date. John Sarvey, living and working in Boston could assist in logistics but cannot attend the 8-9 october. 15th or 22nd seem good options yet Clifford L. Norman is away on both dates. I have also asked Joan Tonn if she would be interested in attending either the 15th or 22nd weekends (waiting for her response).

 

As for the actual format, the next step could be to form a committee to design and propose a scenario. With that idea, I would leave us with Mary P. Follett's perspective on committee work:

 

“The object of a committee meeting is first of all to create a common idea. I do not go to a committee meeting merely to give my own ideas. If that were all, I might write my fellow-members a letter. But neither do I go to learn other people’s ideas. If that were all, I might ask each to write me a letter. I go to a committee meeting in order that all together we may create a group idea, an idea which will be better than any of our ideas added together. For this group idea will not be produced by the process of addition, but by the interpenetration of us all. This subtle psychic process by which the resulting idea shapes itself is the process we want to study.”

THE NEW STATE.Chapter IV. The Group Process: The Collective Feeling

I would love to come to the conversation. I would like the format to be more or less traditional/academic for two reasons.

First, I am in an academic context and going up for tenure next Winter and so enjoy being able to 'count' my involvements.

Second, I agree with Sebastien in thinking that two days is not sufficient time for a truly large scale participatory group conversation (but I am willing to try).I like the idea of round table dialogue, short paper presentations, and just the chance to talk with others about MPF and the work we are all doing.

In any case - I love the idea and you can count me in. I will be traveling from the Spokane, WA area.

 

 

Hello to all,

 

We seem to have an emergent event in our hands and different people with various interests. To follow-up on Sébastien's last proposal, I would suggest that everyone interested in participating in such an event write:

 

1. My personal intention to participate in such an event. Why? and What would I most like to experience?

 

and 2. A prefered date.

 

This process I think could help us move along in co-creating this unique opportunity.

 

To quote Mary P. Follet:

 

« To create a genuine group idea, every man must contribute what is in him to contribute. The individual is not to facilitate agreement by courteously waiving his own point of view. That is just a way of shirking. Nor may I say, ‘Others are able to plan this better than I’. Such attitude is the result either of laziness or of a misconception… I must not subordinate my-self, I must affirm myself and give my full positive value to that meeting. »

 

. . . is like the key of a piano, the value of which is not in its being 1/56 of all the notes, but in its infinite relations to all the other notes.  If that note is lacking, every other note loses its value. (New State, 1918, page 336)

 

François

 

 

 

So I will reply to myself first and hope you all find this strategy helpful:

 

As for dates: I like the idea of a fall meeting and I like the idea that John Sarvey is on location to help us with logistics. I would vote for Oct 1st, 15 or 22.

 

As for the event itself: My first idea would be a one day event (afternoon and evening) on the Saturday. I am not an academic and I would enjoy to hear presentations from academics. My wish would be to learn about Mary P. Follet's thinking and try to do this as much as possible in a Folletian way. Thus being a creative process. I would also like to discover how each one of you is interested in Mary P. Follet, and at the end of this event hope to have ideas about making her thinking better known. And also if Matthew wishes, talk about the network (questions of funding low yet recurring operating costs still unresolved).

 

Looking forward to read your own wishes!

 

François

 



Francois Heon said:

 

Hello to all,

 

We seem to have an emergent event in our hands and different people with various interests. To follow-up on Sébastien's last proposal, I would suggest that everyone interested in participating in such an event write:

 

1. My personal intention to participate in such an event. Why? and What would I most like to experience?

 

and 2. A prefered date.

 

This process I think could help us move along in co-creating this unique opportunity.

 

To quote Mary P. Follet:

 

« To create a genuine group idea, every man must contribute what is in him to contribute. The individual is not to facilitate agreement by courteously waiving his own point of view. That is just a way of shirking. Nor may I say, ‘Others are able to plan this better than I’. Such attitude is the result either of laziness or of a misconception… I must not subordinate my-self, I must affirm myself and give my full positive value to that meeting. »

 

. . . is like the key of a piano, the value of which is not in its being 1/56 of all the notes, but in its infinite relations to all the other notes.  If that note is lacking, every other note loses its value. (New State, 1918, page 336)

 

François

 

 

Hi François,

 

I am OK with the strategy you suggest.

So I reply to your different questions:

 

- I would prefer to come the 15th of October but the 22nd could be also a good solution for me.

- I expect to:

(1) share my personal vision of MPF's thoughts and how I implement her concepts and ideas in my research activities (presenting concrete illustrations of facilitation techniques based upon MPF's ideas),

(2) share the way, colleagues (not only academic) are using MPF's ideas in their fields or activities,

(3) see presentations about MPF's writings (I am not sure that my personal knowledge about MPF is complete enough),

(4) in a more general way, find my place in the MPF networks to share folletian practices with others.

 

I think reasonable to have at least a 2 or 3 days meeting (but it will depend on the number of people coming).

 

Sébastien


Francois Heon said:

 

Hello to all,

 

We seem to have an emergent event in our hands and different people with various interests. To follow-up on Sébastien's last proposal, I would suggest that everyone interested in participating in such an event write:

 

1. My personal intention to participate in such an event. Why? and What would I most like to experience?

 

and 2. A prefered date.

 

This process I think could help us move along in co-creating this unique opportunity.

 

To quote Mary P. Follet:

 

« To create a genuine group idea, every man must contribute what is in him to contribute. The individual is not to facilitate agreement by courteously waiving his own point of view. That is just a way of shirking. Nor may I say, ‘Others are able to plan this better than I’. Such attitude is the result either of laziness or of a misconception… I must not subordinate my-self, I must affirm myself and give my full positive value to that meeting. »

 

. . . is like the key of a piano, the value of which is not in its being 1/56 of all the notes, but in its infinite relations to all the other notes.  If that note is lacking, every other note loses its value. (New State, 1918, page 336)

 

François

 

 

Would folks prefer a weekend or during the work week?

For me, it is the same.

 

Sébastien

John Sarvey said:

Would folks prefer a weekend or during the work week?

 

Thanks you guys!

 

It's great to read your ideas!

 

I would prefer weekend if possible. Or Friday-Saturday...

 

François

 

 

In order to reserve facilities we'll probably need to project/estimate how many are likely to come. It's difficult to tell for certain whether it would be 50 or 20 or 12 or 100. Also, I'd be glad to reserve facilities at Northeastern, but another possibility would be to see if Harvard would like to sponsor this since she was a graduate of Radcliffe (which is part of Harvard). The current president of Harvard, Drew Faust, was the head of Radcliff before she was appointed president of the university.

 

Also, would we want to perhaps try to arrange an optional field trip into the South End/Lower Roxbury where MPF did her early community organizing?

Hey I went to the website for the Mary Parker Follett Foundation and saw that they had an international gathering in 2002. Here's a link to the proceedings: http://www.follettfoundation.org/2002_proceedings.pdf

Hi,

 

One idea may be to send a message to members of the MPF network for a pre registration in order to evaluate the number of interested persons to come?

 

Another idea could be to send a link to everyone on www.doodle.com.

 

A trip into South End/Lower ROxburry where MPF did her early community organizing is a very exciting idea!

 

Sébastien

John Sarvey said:

In order to reserve facilities we'll probably need to project/estimate how many are likely to come. It's difficult to tell for certain whether it would be 50 or 20 or 12 or 100. Also, I'd be glad to reserve facilities at Northeastern, but another possibility would be to see if Harvard would like to sponsor this since she was a graduate of Radcliffe (which is part of Harvard). The current president of Harvard, Drew Faust, was the head of Radcliff before she was appointed president of the university.

 

Also, would we want to perhaps try to arrange an optional field trip into the South End/Lower Roxbury where MPF did her early community organizing?

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