Thursday, June 02, 2005

Jesus or Martin Luther King, Jr. As CEO: Think about it.

A few years ago a supporter of the Tutor/Mentor Connection sent me the book, Jesus as CEO, written by Laurie Beth Jones. (link updated)

It took me a while to get around to reading the book, but when I did it became an inspiration that continues to support me in my work to this day. It shows how much impact a single person can have in this huge world.

As I think about all the challenges facing kids living in poverty, I'm prompted to ask, "What would Jesus do if he were CEO of the business of helping every child born in poverty be in a job, career, by age 25?"

I've also been inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech where he said, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. " You can read the entire speech here. (link updated)

What if Dr. King were the CEO of the business of making this dream a reality?

Walk with me on a little mental model. Imagine you are in the first planning meeting with Jesus or Dr. King and they are introducing their vision and strategy. What would they say that inspired you to work to accomplish the goals they outlined? How would they have presented this information? Two thousand years ago tools like power point, animation, electronic white board and visual brainstorming were not available. I don't think they were even available 50 years ago.

Yet today we have many technologies that support business planning, brainstorming and visioning. I've listed a few below.

So, imagine that Jesus and Dr. King have web sites, and have access to power point, animation, auto cad, etc. Can you imagine how they would have presented their vision using these tools? What types of graphics would have been used to convey Dr. King's vision? How would Jesus have communicated a 2000 year timeline and expansion strategy?

If you can imagine what these presentations might have included, can you put your mental map on paper, and on a web site? Do you know of people who have already done this? If you can imagine how Jesus or Dr. King's presentation would have looked like, can you create a similar business plan that "leaves no child behind" and achieves Dr. King's vision?

Maybe if we create such a plan our public leaders might adopt it and lead it.

The goal of the Tutor/Mentor Connection (archived site) is to find people who are using mental modeling, backward mapping, virtual brainstorming and other innovation tools to create a plan that engages business, philanthropy, schools, hospitals, community based organizations and public leaders in a hundred-year campaign aimed at helping kids born in poverty be starting jobs/careers by age 25.

We want to host this process on our web sites and encourage others to do the same. We want to link to other web sites where this process is already being hosted in churches, alumni groups, universities, law firms, engineering associations, fraternities and sororities all over the world. In such a network we are all constantly learning from each other and some of us are constantly working together to provide resources that others can use at low or no costs to support this action plan in every neighborhood where kids need help to get to jobs and careers.

That's our dream. In the Tutor/Mentor Institute web site you can see how we describe this using the tools we have available to us. Below are tools that I've seen on the Internet which I wish were available to the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

I keep sending proposals to Chicago area foundations asking for funds to incorporate these technologies into the Tutor/Mentor Connection, but have had limited response. Thus, I'm casting my net to the rest of the world and to other communities that have the same need for a strategy that succeeds in helping kids born in poverty be entering jobs/careers by age 25. If you have expertise in these technologies or in these planning processes and would like to help turn our mental model into a real blueprint, please email me at

If you are already building such a model and have it on your web site, please let me know so I can add a link from my web site to your planning model. I'm sure that Jesus and Dr. King would have had to include a section on their plan for evangelization and advertising. If no one looked at the plan, how could they expect to make it a reality?

They also would have been benchmarking competitors and innovating constant improvement based on what they were learning. By putting your vision on your web site you enable others to compare what they are doing to what you are doing and learn ways they can constantly improve what they do to help kids. While most businesses keep their innovations secret, we want to share our innovations in ways that others can duplicate them.

By linking our web sites we increase the number of people who look at our vision and our plan, without increasing the cost of attracting these visitors to our web sites. We also increase the sharing of good ideas and the number of people who work together to increase the flow of resources to support innovation and process improvement.

I'm sure all of these concepts would have been in the strategies outlined by Dr. King and Jesus. Imagine what we could learn from them if we could find their plans some place on the Internet.

You can find links to the web sites I've referred to in this message and to many others at Learning and Management Blogs section of the Tutor/Mentor web library to find more examples of knowledge management, decision support, innovation and creativity.

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