The Mary Parker Follett Network

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

I think it is urgent that Follett's writing, ideas and insights be introduced to more people - particularly to people involved in politics of any kind. Do you have any ideas for how this might be done? Short-term and long-term?

Should we mail our spare copies of The New State to presidential candidates? Do her texts need to be digested into sound bites to make their way into popular culture?

Should we try to create local "chapters" of Follett fans around the globe, chapters that could organize local Follett Forums that connect a Follett idea to a real-world concern? Other ideas?

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I have been waiting for your initiative.  I have a book that I began in the 1990's that will bring Mary's concepth to bear in the business world through the people at the "top".  CEO's, CFO's, COO's, Owners, presidents, etc.

These good folks at the top that are wanting to "break the code" to find out how to bring a Follett "balance" into their organizations DNA, we now have a way to make that happen.  I need to help bring these things to pass - the book literally brings balance, opens the systems, creates a positive atmosphere, climate and culture and produces a mega-productive business system.  Anyone interested? Many spin-offs available while we equip others to be equippers.  Sound interesting?


Books are one pathway. A book is somewhat dependent on its ability to get completed, edited, and (the big challenge) published and distributed. Naturally, it also has to be so good and well-represented that it makes a powerful impression on its audience. There have, of course, been many business writers citing Follett, so hopefully it will add something new. Personally, my own interest in Follett never came from the business management side of things, but from what she speaks to democracy in a more general sense. I am very interested in finding ways for Follett to reach grassroots-level and "mid-level" civic leaders.


One answer to your questions may be: teaching Follett's ideas to our future politicians and managers.

This year, I have experienced teaching Follett's ideas in my organization theory courses. I have to admit that this was not an easy task but some of my students (master students) have worked about interesting way of using Follett's idea (for example, one group of students worked on Follett's contribution in resolving the NBA lock-out). I will surely continue to teach Follett to my students next year having in mind these following difficulties:

- The concept of integration is vague until we find a way to make students experienced it: I think about serious games,

- It is important to give information about Mary P. Follett's context and compare her with Taylor or Fayol's contributions,

- Wherever students are coming from: their vision of leadership is a very traditional one (same thing for their vision of democracy: democracy means the right to go to ballot, which is not Follett's point of view); very uneasy to convince that leadership has something to do with favoring contexts where people can share experiences; for most students, to lead means to command (and leadership is the ability to make people obey). 


Obviously we have to find some educational spaces where we can speak about Follett's ideas. I teach public management, management and organization theory. What about summer schools about Follett's ideas ?





Hello Matthew, Joseph, Sébastien and all interested in "Follett evangelism".


As I read the previous responses, I would think that the beginning of MPF evangelism starts with our own self-expression of our passion for MPF and her ideas. And to your credit Matthew, the Network you have created has become an oasis and meeting ground for MPF enthusiasts as well as a wonderful network for more MPF evangelism. The meeting in Boston that some of us attended last fall was another good example how this network can be a prolific way to promote MPF and her ideas (and if I am not mistaking, it is the only forum devoted to MPF).

As we concluded the MPF gathering, we all offered intentions for the future of this network. Here are these intentions which can add possible ways of contributing to the evangelism. In particular, I have heard about he possibility of the first European MPF gathering in Normandy next Fall of 2012? it true Sébastien or Emmanuel?


Here are the concluding intentions from the MPF gathering in Boston last October 20-21, 2011:

What intentions would I want the Network to prioritize in the coming future?

  • To become my MPF personal database, reference (articles, papers of colleagues, photos, etc…)
  • Creating an on-line Review dedicated to MPF
  • Clarify website governance +financing
  • Put all MPF texts + texts on MPF on site
  • Next Conversation? France?
  • Joint publication & peer review
  • « The Journal of Follettian Applications »
  • Encouragement of participant’s contributions w/ good conversation (ongoing), finding ways to continue exploring/wrestling w/ ideas, perspectives
  • See if + how we can make our network site spark collaboration + cross fertilization
  • Spread the word.
  • An email letter or Newsletter.




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