Posted by Dana Lawrence
Steh Godin is the person credited with the concept of “Tribes.” This comes out of the small book by him, also entitled “Tribes,” wherein a tribe is defined as “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.” (1) Using this definition, you can see that we are members of many different tribes. One might relate to our religious beliefs, another to our professional status and yet a third to our hobby or avocation. In all of these, all that is required is a shared interest and a means for communication.
Parker University is a tribe, of course. There is an idea driving Parker University: the work of Dr. Jim Parker. And around this idea is a community, wherein we unite behind the leader to help ensure that our idea hold true. In our tribe, we do not just come to work in order to do nothing more than earn a paycheck; we derive satisfaction from our work because it is a community effort to ensure we live up to our ideal. We no longer want to avoid change, we wish to embrace it. We don’t fear change, we look for it.
Because we look for change, all of us have to become leaders. It is not just the boss who leads, but all of us, and this is an expectation. We have the ability to do so and are encouraged to do so. Change agents are desired in today’s marketplace. We have them here and they are making a difference. And it is not so much that this requires work; it turns out it can be fun and rewarding. New connections between people get forged.
Godin is only writing about how organizations can more effectively be responsive to a changing and challenging marketplace. Parker, or you, cannot rest on its laurels, and it cannot continue to address opposition from within. Change happens and is necessary, and unity and tribal membership is a means to ensure that people are happy, productive, and contribute to the common good. In the end, the beneficiary is the student, and by extension the public we care for.
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