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Civic Managers: Meshwork Effectively With Elected Officials, Staff, Agencies and Others

hex_managersCreate Meshworks to Address Complexity

Integral Civic Managers create meshworks because life in the global city is so complex that it cannot be managed with simple hierarchies or undisciplined networks. Meshworking in the city, coordinates different capacities, functions, and locations so that alignment and coherence result in an integrated operating strategy and/or emergency response.

Table 1 illustrates eight levels of complexity and key values that all co-exist in today’s city. Each level has a complex intelligence (Column 3) that motivates behaviors in people (Column 4).

Table 1: Emergent V-Memes and Community Values 

1. Key Values Focus & Level of Complexity

2. Aspects of Complex Adaptive Intelligences

3. Behaviors

1.    Survival
– Self
· Depends on instincts & habits to survive

· Life basics have priority

· Focused on self and/or immediate family survival
2.    Safety
– Group
· Creates safe clans & nests

· Respects powerful elders

· Separates Us vs. Them

· Ritualizes the mystical, signs

· Respects folk ways

· Honors family, kin ethnicity

· Traditions are important

· Guards sacred places

3.    Power
– Self
· Defends self against World full of threats & predators

· Enjoys self to the fullest in the moment

· Breaks free from domination and constraints

· Conquers, outfoxes, dominates other aggressors

4.    Order
– Group
· Recognizes one right way

· Gains purpose in causes

· Suffers guilt in consequences

· Sacrifices in honor

· Conserves peace and quiet

· Acts cautiously and carefully Enforces order, tidiness and neatness

· Honors social position

5.    Truth Success
– Self
· Invents best solutions

· Exploits resources to create good life

· Measures performance

· Acts optimistic, takes risks, is self-reliant

· Prospers through strategy, social and economic structures, technology, competition, planning, engineering
6.    Communitarian
– Group
· Seeks inner peace

· Everybody is equal

· Everything is relative

· Honors harmony in the group

· Creates social safety nets

· Demands political correctness

· Accepts diversity

· Invests in culture

7.    Systems
– Self
· Sees all life as natural systems

· Remains flexible, spontaneous, functional

· Considers, chaos & change are natural

· Integrates differences into interdependent, natural flows

Levels of Complexity

In relation to the same levels of complexity we can also see each level has healthy (+) and unhealthy (-) examples of behaviors, that co-exist in the city.

Examples of Behaviors: [Healthy +] [Unhealthy -]
·       + Survival bands perpetuate life

·       + Lives off land, street

·       + food bank workers

·       – homeless

·       + immigrants retain homeland ways

·       – use of turbans instead of helmets threaten safety standards

·       + artistic expression, independence

·       – bullies, gangs

·       + obedient drivers observe traffic laws

·       – bureaucrats over-regulate

·       – governments over tax

·       + City planners plan for 20+ yrs.

·       + Govt. redistributes wealth

·       – rich vs poor gap

·       – Eco polluters threaten environment

·       + universal health care service

·       – social safety net policies spend $ before wealth produced

·       – city bankruptcy from social over spending

·       + integrates all value lenses

·       – undervalues group capacities

·       + thinks local, acts global

·       – TBD

Meshworks offer overarching interconnections that combine the best of all kinds of organizational skills and models. Table 2 shows some examples of the expertise the Civic Manager could draw on to create a meshwork of support to respond to the behaviors.

Table 2: Meshwork of Expertise

1. Levels of Complexity 2. Behaviors 3. Meshwork of Expertise
1 · Survival bands trying to stay alive

· Lives off land, street

· Food bank organizers

·  Salvation Army

·  Homeless Shelter Sponsors

2 · Respects folk ways

· Honors family, kin, ethnicity

·  Traditions are important

·  Guards sacred places

·  Culturally sensitive social workers

· Workers Compensation Board

· Pastors, Rabbis, Imams, Shamans

· Private Security Firms

3 ·       Breaks free from domination and constraints

· Conquers, outfoxes, dominates other aggressors

· Coaches

· Mentors

· Parents

· Teachers, Guides

4 · Conserves peace and quiet

· Acts cautiously and carefully

· Enforces order, tidiness and neatness

· Honors social position

· Police

· Fire & Rescue Workers

· Park wardens

· City Planners & Engineers

· Girl & Boy Scouts

· Service Clubs

· Agriculture workers, Farmers

· Trades people

5 · Prospers through strategy, social and economic structures, technology, competition, planning, engineering · City planners & Engineers

· Local business people

·  Heat, Power, Light utilities

·  Financial institutions

·  Strategic planners

·  Economic developers

· Food processors

· Building developers, contractors

· Emergency Response Systems

6 · Creates social safety nets

· Demands political correctness

· Accepts diversity

· Invests in culture

· Health care service providers

· NFP

· Social service providers

· Multi-Cultural associations

·  Community developers

7 · Integrates differences into interdependent, natural flows · Scenario Planners

· Technology developers

· Computer workers

·  Ecologists

·       Biogeneticists

8 · Thinks globally, acts locally & vice versa

· Makes global interconnections

· Highly diversified

· Not isolationist

· Information rich

· Global traders

· Financial institutions

· Telecommunications experts

Multiple Meshworks Address Full Spectrum of City Behaviors

The foregoing examples illustrate multiple meshworks to address a full spectrum of city behaviors at any given point of time.

Meshworking is equally effective when a full spectrum of expertise is brought to bear on single issues or clusters of issues like homelessness. Civic Managers can form a meshwork to collaborate across disciplines to enable strategic foresight, scenario planning, and strategic implementation that address and prevent homelessness. A meshwork for homelessness could be assembled from the following domains:

  • Bio-physical Sciences
  • Healing Modalities — both Allopathic and Alternative; Individual and Family Systems Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Culture
  • Law
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Human settlements (architecture, engineering, construction trades)
  • Economics
  • Ecology

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