Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Identity and Dream Identity

In any analysis and planning session for an organization, revisiting the organization’s identity (corporate identity) is an important starting point.  The basic question to bring out organizations identity tends to be:  WHO ARE WE? After a day’s introduction to the Appreciative Discernment, we looked at our identity as a Society.

Importance of Identity: Identity is important not only at organizational level but also at individual level as well.  Our Lord gives us a good example of individual identity. At the beginning of His public life the Holy Spirit confirmed his identity “you are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased” Mk 1:11. With this identity he faced the temptations in the desert. At his appearance at Nazareth, still in the power of the Spirit, He declared “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me” Lk 4:18.  With the awareness of his identity he gave himself fully to his ministry knowing what he was going to live for and what to die for. Both at personal and organization level, our identities are important as they frame our way of being in the world – establishing what we live for and what we die for.

Identity - Two Perceptions:  We can look at our Society as an Organization whose identity is fixed and complete, or as an organization with an identity that is incomplete and open to change transformation.

Dream Identity:  The later view of Society leads us into acknowledging that although some elements of our identity as a Society are constant, we are co-creators of the present and future identity of our Society. It leads us into awareness that we do not have only one future Identity ahead of us, but many future identities, and our role is to choose the one we want. In appreciative Discernment language; we looked at ourselves as active agents in the social construction of our identity.  In line with Appreciative Discernment Methodology we emphasized the importance of positive DREAM IDENTITY of our Society as an important building block in the construction of a good present and future identity.

Collage showing different images presented by the participants. Designed by Fr. Antonio Koffi

Images from the Natural World of Animals and Plants:  In our sharing and discussion on DREAM IDENTITY we were each asked by the facilitator to come up with images or emblems. We came up with a variety of images. Most of them were drawn form the natural world of animals and plants. We had a brief discussion on what each of the images that we chose could mean to our relationship among us as confreres, to our financial and material life, to our work and to our governance and leadership. For example; what could the life of Bees mean in the various dimensions of our life and work?

In our search for who we want to be and what we want to do, perhaps the natural world of animals and plants have floods of lessons for us, if only we paid more attention in considering our Society as a living Organism – if we looked at it from a bio centric perspective.

N.B. This is an echo of the session on our identity as a Society (our corporate Identity). It is not part of the official report of the session.

Fr. Charles Obanya

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