Making progress in multiple dimensions – 4/19/15

When people talk about progress, moving toward a goal, they usually speak in terms of  a single dimension: starting point and destination. For me, these words are inadequate. I’m not going from one point to another, trying to plot the optimal route between them. Instead, I started at a single point, and I’m trying to grow the organization in a whole set of directions at once. Some of the directions are related, or dependent on other steps being taken. Before fund-raising, I wanted to establish PBDD as a non-profit so donors could deduct their contributions. In other respects, filing forms with the State of Illinois to register as a non-profit is entirely independent of the task of reaching out to existing agencies to find partners who share our goals.

The effort isn’t even like a balloon, where energy is directed to a single point, and the balloon expands in all directions simultaneously to take up space.

For me, it’s more a method of pushing in one direction, expanding the scope of the endeavor, then shifting my attention to another area, expanding there, trying to maintain balance and avoid becoming lopsided. Some of the directions are multi-faceted in their own right, like programs to describe best practices, and providing guidance for starting up programs in new communities.

In many ways, it feels appropriate to view my efforts as multi-dimensional. I’m trying to unite existing structures, making connections and filling gaps where needed. My main purpose has been to help fill a space, and the linear view of things doesn’t have the notion of a space.

There are many ways to approach filling in a space, and the order in which I take the steps matter less than that each step is helpful or necessary for the next step. I think we’ve covered a lot of ground in these past months, and we’ve established important footholds to help our continued expansion.

I look forward to the next steps.


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