Tilting at windmills

Despite being championed/cynically exploited by three Governors and a whole host of political leaders, Vision Shared has not been very successful.  Why?

  • The first problem, I daresay, is with Vision Shared’s mission: “To bridge social, political and economic gaps by BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER to confront the issues and needs facing West Virginia.” I realize that bringing people together, which is better known as event planning or party planning to the uninitiated, can be quite an accomplishment, but it is hardly a “meaningful” accomplishment for an organization in existence for almost a decade. During my eight years working in government, I quickly learned that the problem with getting things done rarely is that key stakeholders don’t meet – the public policy world is filled with party planners.  Rather it was that no one ever does much of anything after being brought together.  An organization that makes bringing people together its primary mission is destined to fail at accomplishing much of anything else, regardless of whom it brings together.
  • The second problem, I daresay, is with Vision Shared’s goal: “To strengthen the economy, reshape communities, promote progressive government and improve the quality of life for all West Virginians.”  No organization can be all things to all people – and certainly not with a $600,000 annual budget.

~ by Dennis Taylor on 2 January 2010.

One Response to “Tilting at windmills”

  1. They have to be careful that the organization doesn’t slip into the world of becoming a social club. Tom Heywood, a professional board sitter in W.Va, can only do so much – talented as he is.

    VS needs to simplify its mission greatly. Set yearly goals – difficult ones – but, ones that can be accomplished and move forward methodically.

    For example…take a stand on Mountain Top removal and then move to advance legislation in that direction. That’s a big deal. One issue a year is enough to change the state for the better.

    A laundry list of goals destined to be mocked is not in the best interest of the group.

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