While talking to my friend Joe yesterday he asked me if I could help his organization out in helping people make intentional plans for growth in their organization. Joe’s firm helps nonprofits develop their own leadership from within. One executive he knew had recently been let go by the board, after six or seven years with the company. This executive had asked Joe on four separate occasions to come talk about helping them make a plan, but they never bought in. Now that Executive X is being let go, too late he realizes that an intentional plan would have been much better. The transition will be a lot more painful.
Intentional seems like a redundant word to me, and maybe it should be, but it’s not. Nothing really gets done without intentionality, unless you’re talking about haphazard accidents, and any of those that are good happen because you were intentionally working on something else! You don’t stumble upon the idea for Post-It Notes unless you’re working on new developments in glue.
The same thing goes with community. The first thing you have to recognize if you want to build a community with and for any purpose whatsoever, you’ll have to be intentional.
The law of entropy — I am not a thermodynamic physicist, so this is perhaps inaccurately summarized as the idea that things fall apart — creates the challenge that things in a closed system (like the universe in terms of thermodynamics or like your town or organization in terms of meaningful relationships) will require an influx energy on a consistent basis to make any relationship or group a cohesive one.
In other words, your intentionality is required to counter-act entropy in any community you care about.
The first thing Joe and I had to agree on was the fact that without intentionality, no organization can implement any plan, much less a plan that will develop future leadership potential.