Strategically Approaching the New Year and Beyond
Deputy General Grand Master
(Left to Right: MWB Norman Ping, MWB and RPC Monty Glover, and MWB Dennis Liao)
Aloha and Fraternal Greetings Companions,
First off I hope everyone had a safe and joyful Holiday Season and that this New Year brings much happiness to you all.
As the General Grand Master mentioned in his last article things have been in a state of flux for me these last few months. While moving from Hawaii to Georgia, I did my best to balance work with fulfilling my responsibilities to the General Grand Council. I can tell you doing a full time job while bouncing between hotels and my Moms house in Florida makes it tough to focus; not something I recommend doing. I am pleased to say things are starting to get back to normal (for me, anyway), and I now have a working computer and an actual office in my new house. Beyond my work for Cryptic Masonry, I have not had a chance to do anything Masonic here in Georgia. I wanted to get my house organized and get back into a rhythm. I am excited about what the future will have in store for me this year, and I do plan on attending lodge and York Rite meetings near me soon.
I will be starting off the year of visitation and travels with the semi-annual board meeting for CMMRF the beginning of February. I always look forward to these meetings to learn about all the new developments with our charity and what we will be doing in the months ahead to support it. This meeting is looking to be something to be excited about and I’m sure you will see new things coming out about CMMRF soon.
So, in my last article I wrote about the strategic plan we are developing. In it’s development I am not looking at just the next Triennium but beyond to the two that follow. This is a plan being developed with not just one perspective but many. Our goal is to work toward setting up a system of leadership where it’s less about the individual at the top and more about maintaining a stable, well run and focused General Grand Council that continues to communicate effectively, innovate within the family of Freemasonry, especially the York Rite, by forming stronger relationships with the General Grand Chapter and the Grand Encampment, and to continue to promote and expand the American system of Cryptic Masonry around the world today and long into the future.
I mentioned that in subsequent articles I would be going into more detail around each of the major areas of the strategic plan. I will point out that this is and will always be a work in progress and as things develop and evolve I will be sure to keep you apprised of what’s happening. I’m sure once we get to something that is ready for prime time we will have a version of it published on the web site for the companions to review. As always, I welcome and encourage you to give me your feedback as to things you would like to see and things you may have issues with. Your input is always welcome.
So on to the good stuff. Communication Enhancements! Good Communication is the linchpin of any well-run organization or any relationship for that matter. If communication breaks down, everyone suffers. Projects take longer to come to fruition, if at all; and misinformation and rumor becomes the norm rather than the exception.
Internal Communication will be a major focus for our Organization moving forward. Under the leadership of the General Grand Master we have implemented regular monthly conference voice and video calls among the Trustees of the General Grand Council. We frequently have invited guests attend to give presentations from committees, mostly right now from the Technology Committee, to go over the projects in motion along with those that have come to fruition. We also take that opportunity to make any course corrections and clear up any misunderstandings with tasks. There is a substantial amount of brain storming at these sessions. They usually last between one and a half to two hours. There have also been special/called meetings to continue any left over work from previous meetings or to address any problems that may pop up. As we continue to look toward the future, we plan to get more of the committees to report out regularly at these meetings. This will allow us to keep current with their efforts, ensure activities across the organization are aligned, and help remove any roadblocks to their success.
Another important aspect of internal communication is the Strategic Plan itself. This will provide a roadmap to help keep us focused and on track toward accomplishing the goals of the Cryptic Rite. All of the trustees have direct and regular input to its building and development together with the members of the Strategic Planning Committee. But beyond that we want to instill an understanding that every single member of the General Grand Council around the world has an opportunity to provide input to help shape this plan. So Internal Communication is not just among the elected members of the Organization but internal to the craft as well. After all, we all have a vested interest in seeing the organization prosper and thrive.
The Trustees, under the shepherding of our amazing General Grand Recorder, started leveraging technology to enhance our communication and record keeping. We have implemented shared storage space for documents that can be used to keep all our projects together and available for review, minutes of our meetings, and all manner of other resources. This becomes the place of record, so to speak, for all information and removes the confusion of multiple versions of documents floating around. We have also implemented a system for tracking tasks. This is or will be used by not only the leadership but also the standing and special committees to be able to keep their projects on schedule and manageable.
In my next article I will talk about communication with and from our constituent Councils and Grand Councils. If you have any ideas around that please feel free to drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you.
Again I wish you all the Happiest of New Years and I look forward to seeing you in my visitations.
A Hui Hou.