Throughout my long-standing career in organization design and strategic framing, I appealed to the writings of central figures of the Bahá’í Faith—The Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—and ongoing guidance from Bahá’í institutions to influence my work in large systems change initiatives. I am exploring how I blended these in “More About Me”.
This year marks the centenary of the passing of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Perfect Exemplar and eldest son of the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh. Following decades of captivity, in 1908, authorities of the Ottoman Empire released ‘Abdu’l-Bahá from prison and granted Him the freedom to travel abroad. He visited the United States and Canada in 1912. Many of the talks he gave during his trip are documented in The Promulgation of Universal Peace. Several published diaries, journals, and firsthand accounts written by those in His company during His journey provide additional insights into His daily life. You can find a day-by-day summary drawn from some of these sources posted in “239 Days”.
Bahá’í teachings emphasize the spiritual principles of unity, 1 love, 2 and justice 3 as prerequisites for Universal Peace. When expressed as organizing principles – 1) everyone is in; 2) everyone is interconnected; and, 3) what any one person thinks, says and does impacts everyone else – and associated with a common purpose – the independent investigation of reality 4 they form the basis for my change initiatives within large social systems.
Throughout each year the Universal House of Justice, “the international governing council of the Bahá’í Faith,” publishes messages, letters, and research compilations to all members of the worldwide Bahá’í community. Many of these relate to global, comprehensive, and often multi-year plans focused on the unwavering advancement of the spiritual principles of the Faith in transforming the world – in other words, making dramatic change happen over time throughout the entire human system. This guidance also informed the design, development, and implementation of change strategies within client organizations. See “Bahai Timeline” for a summary of those publications.
In April 2022 the current One Year Plan will conclude and the Universal House of Justice will formally launch a successive Nine Year Plan. Input into the final development of this plan is underway through a series of global conferences and conversations. As an example, the Regional Bahá’í Council of the Midwestern States posted this timeline of activities in response to a letter from the Universal House of Justice 5 encouraging all to prepare for the upcoming conference cycle. Similar timelines, each tailored for the areas they serve, are being conducted worldwide with the outcomes feeding into the final plan.
As part of my individual contribution to this effort through my organization design experiences and capabilities, I am posting content to this site so that whoever might find my perspective helpful can access it. Many of my proposed approaches tap into another principle of the Bahá’í Faith — the harmony of science and religion — to utilize ongoing developments in information and communication technology, systems, processes, and tools to pursue the goals and objectives of the upcoming Nine Year Plan. Check “Global Rebirth” for posts more directly related to this theme.
To keep track of my day-to-day “adventures,” I post to “Daily Log”. Also, each day I post a set of URLs to articles that captured the interest of my colleagues to Greener Acres Value Network (GAVNet) on WordPress. Also, these entries are reflected in “Gavnet Daily Post”. You might enjoy them, too.
All of this is definitely a work in progress. Check in often as the content and format will change as I get further along. To that point, your feedback is most welcome. I know I would learn from your observations and be inspired by your questions!
“Acceptance of the oneness of mankind is the first fundamental prerequisite for reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind. Universal acceptance of this spiritual principle is essential to any successful attempt to establish world peace. It should therefore be universally proclaimed, taught in schools, and constantly asserted in every nation as preparation for the organic change in the structure of society which it implies.”
Universal House of Justice. “October 1985 – To the Peoples of the World.” Bahá’í Reference Library, https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19851001_001/1#674456093.[return]
“Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the divers elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms. Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe.”
ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. Selections from the Writings of ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. Translated by Marzieh Gail. 1st ed. Haifa: Bahá’í World Center, 1978, 27-28. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/selections-writings-abdul-baha/3#407306067.[return]
“O people of God! That which traineth the world is Justice, for it is upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment. These two pillars are the sources of life to the world.”
Baháʾuʾlláh. Tablets of Baháʼuʼlláh, Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Translated by Habib Taherzadeh. 1st ed. Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1978, 128-129. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/tablets-bahaullah/4#380202926[return]
“First, man must independently investigate reality, for the disagreements and dissensions which afflict and affect humanity primarily proceed from imitations of ancestral beliefs and adherences to hereditary forms of worship. These imitations are accidental and without sanction in the Holy Books. They are the outcomes of human interpretations and teachings which have arisen, gradually obscuring the real light of divine meaning and causing men to differ and dissent. The reality proclaimed in the heavenly Books and divine teachings is ever conducive to love, unity and fellowship.”
ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 314.
- Universal House of Justice. “Nine Year Plan Conferences”. 15 Sept. 2021, https://midwestbahai.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/nine-year-plan-conferences-letter.pdf. [return]