The most remarkable ITC contact I received over the years, here in Colorado, was a phone call in May 1996 from the spirit of the late EVP pioneer Konstantin Raudive, lasting about 12 minutes. During that phone call we spent a couple of minutes talking about how best to manage the INIT group, and that’s the excerpt you can hear and read below.
(You can listen to the phone chat audio clip… while following along below.)
Transcript of the 2:20-minute excerpt
Macy: I, too, have tried to avoid words such as “leading” and “managing.” It’s not easy on Earth to develop social systems that are based on non-hierarchical…
Raudive: Don’t try to avoid it, friend Mark, because these are systems implanted in your world, and you’ll have to deal with them…
… it’s very important that you assume the role, and then it will be done, because it’s only for the common cause.
Okay. What we’re trying to establish with INIT, I think, is more of a network on Earth, as opposed to a hierarchical or a bureaucratic-type organization. A network without formal structure. I think that can be done maybe with the Internet.
That is a fact, because you are one of the essential, main points of this network. You are one big “dot” on it, do you understand?
And from this big dot there are departures for other dots, smaller dots. And it’s only from this big dot that ramifications (branches) may be made.
Okay, as you know, I’m extremely honored and very delighted to have that responsibility…
You don’t need to say this because, you know, we are working together, doing one thing, and that’s what’s important.
I was… we, our group, we were very honored to be able to contact you now, and we will continue in the future. This is the first contact to you that lasted more than eleven minutes.
Time went by very quickly. I’ll do everything I can to make this work, the INIT…
We know it, Mark. Without that we wouldn’t have contacted you.
And don’t be afraid of small, personal differences that…
(Our group had some personality conflicts at the time of this contact, which escalated in the coming years and led to, I believe, the eventual coming-apart of INIT around the year 2000.)
(Read a more complete transcript on page 7 of the linked journal… )
Hidden between the lines of the dialog:
- I never really wanted to be a manager or leader… ever. Didn’t like bossing, didn’t like being bossed. Always tried to be responsible for my own behavior.
- And so I assumed (and I was apparently wrong) that a network of independent ITC researchers could flourish without any management. Konstantin corrected me and explained how things look from his side, in terms of management (the dots-and-branches metaphor).
- At that time in my life my feelings didn’t match my words (like a lot of guys, I wasn’t “in touch” with my feelings). As a result, the “people-pleaser” aspect of my personality showed itself during the dialog. I told Konstantin that I’d be “honored and delighted” to help manage INIT, but the truth is, the whole idea of managing really made me uncomfortable, and I was trying to avoid it.
- My mixed feelings apparently worked against the resonance needed to sustain the ITC bridge. Konstantin interrupted me at that point of the dialog, and the contact ended shortly thereafter.
So… could good management have prevented the fall of INIT?
Could good management help to ensure the life and integrity of ITC groups now and in the future?
That’s what we’ll explore today.
Management and Direction
This article is about managing a network or association of independent researchers dedicated to ITC (instrumental transcommunication), which is the use of technology to supplement a communication bridge with the worlds of spirit.
By “researcher,” I mean an ITC group member who…
- Experiments with ITC equipment, or
- Analyzes and understands and explains and documents the work, or
- Arranges funding, or
- Plans meetings and events, or
- Participates in meetings, or
- Equips members with technology, or
- Works carefully with the media on behalf of the ITC group, or
- Arbitrates conflicts and grievances among members, or
- Provides any other useful service for the group….
I’m assuming that the ITC group is nonprofit and could include members from various nationalities, cultures, races, and religious beliefs.
First of all, my aim here is to gather up what I learned from my experience with INIT (the International Network for Instrumental Transcommunication) between 1995 and 2000.
Second, I’ll share some important principles that have been developed by management experts for modern businesses … principles that might also be useful for nonprofit ITC groups to consider.
Third, I’ll describe how a few modern technologies could make it easier and cheaper to manage an ITC group. (I’ve written about this before, so I’ll just summarize it at the end of this article.)
What I Learned From INIT
So to begin, here’s what I learned from INIT about managing an ITC group:
- Members should make an effort to be resonant, or in harmony with each other (as well as at peace within themselves), a condition that allows them to be in harmony with a spirit group that will grow and coalesce around them… harmony being the ultimate prerequisite for sustaining an ITC bridge.
- Harmony does not come easily to us carnal humans, because of our hormones and egos and personality differences… hence the need for some sort of management of the group.
- The ITC group could write and adopt a constitution to describe group vision, member responsibilities, and other matters.
- A small administrative group of several members (what INIT called a Resonant Working Group, or RWG) could be chosen to represent the group by implementing decisions made by the ITC group as a whole.
- The managers should probably take extra efforts to sustain harmony among themselves … to act like a crystal oscillator in a radio… providing stability and discouraging the group and its members from straying off-frequency with their aims and intentions and attitudes.
- It’s important for these administrative members to try to overcome ego problems and difficult personality issues, as described in the previous article, that can cause dissonance and conflict.
- The managers also should probably be familiar with techniques to resolve conflicts and grievances among members of the network.
These seven issues kind of sum up how the INIT network might look, ideally, from an earthly viewpoint.
From the viewpoint of our spirit friends, INIT might look simpler: a few “large dots” connected to lots of “smaller dots” (as Konstantin Raudive described to me in his phone call). So, more specifically…
- A competent spirit group, such as Timestream, can monitor the earthside group as a collection of points and branches. Each point (or dot or spot) represents a member, and each branch connects two members. There are large dots (representing certain key members of the group) and smaller dots (representing the other members). The key members (large dots) are determined by the spirit group, and they might or might not be the same as the ITC group managers delegated by the membership for mundane administrative duties.
(Note: As I mentioned, the managers of the RWG, who administer to the interests of the group, aren’t necessarily the same as the key members, or “large dots,” who are determined and monitored by the spirit group. I suspect the managers are chosen or elected somehow by the membership… but, frankly, I’m not sure what criteria the spirit group uses to determine which earthside members are big dots and which members are smaller dots….)
Well, I wrote the preceding paragraph yesterday. This morning (June 10, 2016) I woke up around 4:00 with a mental picture of what Konstantin might have been trying to describe with his dots-and-branches metaphor. If I’m right, this could have important implications for the future development of ITC research… in which case I apologize for being dense, in the literal as well as figurative sense, in not understanding this earlier.
How the Spirits See Our ITC Groups
This is a picture of the original INIT group taken during our first meeting at Dartington Hall, in England, in 1995.
I think Timestream spirit group had a bigger vision in mind for INIT. It wasn’t just to be one big network of independent researchers from around the world, as I’ve been assuming for many years. I now think maybe INIT was to be an association of representatives from many networks around the world… a sort of umbrella network of networks.
Most of the people in this picture were Europeans who were associated with the Harsch-Fischbach couple. They would have been seen as “smaller dots” associated with Maggy.
Sonia and I (Mark) were probably seen as “big dots” representing South America and North America, respectively. Juliet Hollister of Greenwich CT, the loving, nurturing white-haired woman next to Sonia, was a close friend of mine at the time and was probably viewed by Timestream as a smaller dot associated with me.
All of the other people in the picture (besides Maggy, Sonia, Juliet, and me) were probably seen by our spirit friends as smaller dots associated with Maggy.
I think that Timestream envisioned the growth of networks of researchers in North America (branching from me) and in South America (branching from Sonia)… and probably also in Asia, Africa, Australia, and elsewhere in the coming years. In fact, we received several contacts from Timestream telling us that new stations were being planned and implemented, but the actual locations were still under discussion. (Read more about those contacts… )
That is probably the scenario that Konstantin was trying to explain to me on the phone with his dots and ramifications.
So what happened?
Why did the bridges with new stations not happen (… yet)?
Why did the exceptional bridge with Timestream close down?
Well, for one thing, I don’t think we (on Earth) had a very clear picture or understanding of all this at the time. We were all doing our best trying to reconcile the miracles going on around us, but we didn’t see the bigger picture of how everything was supposed to fit together. One thing we had learned earlier from Timestream is how our conceptions and expectations here on Earth play a part in shaping the reality that’s evolving on the Third Level. If we have a confused cosmology, then society on the Third Level becomes kind of confused. (Read more about that… )
Also, I think it’s not easy for our spirit friends to work with us carnal humans. The jealousies and worries and fears over who might or might not get a good station might have sent the whole project into a tailspin. Harmony was probably corrupted by the hormones, egos, and difficult personalities of us carnal humans… our fingers pointing at each other every which way… here a blame, there a blame, everywhere a blame blame….
Specifically, I think INIT might have fallen short on points 5, 6, and 7 of the above list.
It seems that some people want the power of management, and some accept it reluctantly, but few take the time to foster the qualities of good management as recognized and defined by management experts today, so….
What We Can Glean From Management Experts
While researching for this article, I found several websites with useful management wisdom. I’ll start with my favorite, a British advisory group calling itself…
Acas (Advisory, conciliation, and arbitration service)
Acas takes a nuts-and-bolts approach to organizational management, providing an online survey or questionnaire that walks managers carefully through 10 key areas of their organizations:
- Recruitment, Selection, and Induction
- Pay and Reward
- Performance Management
- Flexible Working and Work-Life Balance
- Equality and Diversity
- Communication and Involvement
- Employee Representation
- Discipline and Grievance
- Managing Change
- Key Performance Indicators in People Management
Managers visiting the Acas site can click on one of the 10 areas, or modules, where they find a set of multiple choice questions along with recommendations for best practice. (Read more about the survey, or “Acas Model Workplace”… )
The first five Acas modules don’t apply very well to a nonprofit network of independent volunteers (such as an ITC group), but the last five modules could probably be adapted for ITC purposes:
- Communication: How often does the group hold meetings? Are members encouraged to ask questions and discuss issues openly? Are members kept informed? Is information available about staffing and training? Is there a facility for members to make suggestions? Are attitude and engagement surveys conducted? Can members join problem-solving groups? Are managers trained to handle communication and member involvement?
- Member representation: Is there a framework or constitution specifying the roles, rights, and responsibilities of members? Is there a consultative or negotiating body (an “RWG,” for example) representing members’ rights? Do group members recognize the RWG managers as people they can safely turn to with their concerns… managers who will address their issues?
- Grievances: Are members clear about rules and membership standards? Are the managers trained to deal with grievances and interpersonal conflicts? Are grievances addressed right away? Should outside mediators be recruited to help resolve conflicts? Are conflicts and grievances investigated clearly? Do members have a chance to make their case? Are examples provided of what gross misconduct or unacceptable behavior would look like? Is there some kind of appeal or conciliatory process available to members accused of something?
- Managing change: Is there a clear vision and project plan for the group? Are managers accessible and responsive during times of change? Are there ways to address “survivor syndrome,” when some members have been asked to leave the group and remaining members miss their former colleagues and feel guilty that they themselves are still members? Are the managers aware of the link between changes in the group and the health and well-being of individual members? (Specifically, crass, reactionary changes can damage members’ self-esteem and give a sense that things are “out of control.”)
- People management: Does the group conduct member surveys to see how satisfied members are with their role in the group? Do they keep track of members joining and quitting, and the reasons why they quit?
Thanks to Acas for their step-by-step process toward good management!… which I think could be adapted nicely for a nonprofit ITC group.
Management by Consensus and Group Conscience
It seems to me that an international network of independent researchers would probably function best under Japanese style (consensus) management, or what is sometimes called “group conscience.”
It’s not a typical, western-style management situation in which the managers make quick decisions and the other members comply.
Instead, important issues are allowed to spread through the entire network for everyone to digest. Then, after lots of discussion and consideration, a unanimous decision is born. It’s up to the managers, then, to see that the decision is implemented appropriately.
Decisions might be slow, not quick… but they’re usually the right decisions, when made under this sort of management.
As I looked for ideas here in the States, I didn’t find any step-by-step processes toward sound business management.
Instead, what sprung out at me was like a rich field of wildflowers… inspirational, sensational, luxuriant philosophies and tips like these…
- The very best 14 management tips from 14 of America’s top managers and experts…
- The 6 “awesomely simple” core management principles of John Spence… and
- 10 qualities of a successful team leader…
While these and other American sites had useful information, for ITC purposes it seemed more fruitful to adapt the methodical and comprehensive approach of Acas.
Managing an ITC Group on a Shoestring Budget
Twenty years ago, communicating with people in other countries usually involved letters, FAXes, international phone calls, and floppy disks and CDs sent through the mail… very time-consuming and expensive.
Today it involves emails and file attachments, maybe Skype, and occasional text messages or phone calls via cell phone… cheap and easy.
Twenty years ago, publishing ITC findings involved writing newsletters and books, making translations, writing articles for magazines, making more translations, attending conferences, giving seminars and workshops, and doing radio and TV interviews… lots of hard work and expense.
Today it could be done on a multilingual website (with automatic translations)… all very neat and simple… and inexpensive.
Twenty years ago, I arranged annual meetings for our INIT group in different countries and funding to cover everyone’s travel, room, board, and entertainment. That was expensive, so we had to rely on the generosity of sponsors… grants from sympathetic foundations.
Today we could meet once or twice a year or as often as necessary through videoconferences. The software for videoconferencing can be a bit pricey, but not nearly as prohibitive as travel expenses for in-room meetings.
So, once an ITC network is up and running in the world (a sort of expanded version of INIT geared for the growing legion of serious, resonant ITC researchers in the world today…), it probably would not be too difficult or expensive to maintain, as long as everyone took some time to foster harmony and sound management practices.
At first, though, there could be complications and expenses involved… in-room meetings and conferences in various parts of the world… where everyone can get to know each other… to determine who feels comfortable and compatible with whom, in order to form smaller networks within the larger, worldwide network….
This is something I might wish to write about in a future article, as details coalesce more firmly in my mind… taking into account the many good researchers and ITC associations and networks that are already forming out there in the world today.
Is the spirit world waiting for all of this activity and growth here on Earth to achieve some sort of unified, resonant state before ITC bridges will start to open wide?
I think that might be the case.
So… before I join that spirit group… while I still have a few years left here on Earth… I’ll roll up my sleeves and do what I can… which is essentially to try to explain things as clearly as I can here on this website.
Who will wind up being “big dots” and “smaller dots” in the worldwide network that forms in the future (assuming that we carnal humans can sustain some level of resonance and harmony…)?
I suspect that’ll be determined to some degree by us humans the way we’ve always done it… a mixture of pure intentions (which will allow ITC to flourish) and power struggles, battling egos, and arguments (which will cause ITC to falter).
As always… it’s up to us humans.
But me? My main interest at this point is to write about it.
The next (and probably final) article in this “What ITC Groups Can Learn…” series will be about Funding and Support.