Something New Is Happening

When I was growing up there was a popular play on broadway entitled “Stop The World I Want To Get Off!”  The article here is part of my first attempt to explain something to you, dear reader, that I have only just begun understanding myself.  Our world has been turned upside down and inside out.

In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing more and more on this because It is now more than ever true that SIZE DOES NOT MATTER.  Except that it may now be that if you are the 800 pound gorilla in your market you are more vulnerable than you have ever been.  But this is not about vulnerability…this is about opportunity on a scale so vast that I am struggling with how to convey it.

So start reading it for yourself.  Yes, it will be difficult for you to connect the dots to DeathCare.  Trust me.  They connect very well.  My goal is to challenge and stimulate your thinking well this is going to be the test.

We’re at an inflection point where work and value creation can reach “scale” without having to be done by a large, single firm. We can see today that Social is more than tools, information-enabled efficiency, products, services, or processes. It is not that we have more ways to be social. It is that the cumulative difference of all these ways of being social allows for an entirely new way to scale — through and with connected individuals. The improvement in what is possible creates new economic effects that add up to a new way of doing business. Organizations that get this are changing the way they create, deliver, and capture value — in essence, creating entirely new business models….More at Our Obsession with Scale Is Failing Us – Nilofer Merchant – Harvard

Speaking of Dying

The antipathy that often underlies the relationships between clergy and funeral director is well known.  Dealing with death in a society that is increasingly unchurched creates too many unfortunate stories for which the funeral director feels blamed.

But there are signs of a new awakening within the church and I believe this awakening will lead to a greater receptivity on the part of the clergy to our expertise.  This blog review of a new book directed at the church’s failure to properly care for the dying is one excellent example.

“Victims of the Wrong Story”. It describes congregations and pastors who lived inside a story that is not the story of the gospel. As they write: “A brief diagnosis of what went wrong in the dying of the ten pastors is that the entire approach and handling of illness, care, and final end of life were outsourced … Death is a condition, a state, but dying is a story … Just what story is at work here?” Read more…

What I would Do:

I would order the book and read it.  If it is what I think it is I would then proceed to schedule a lunch with pastors in my area (I might even target the more obstreperous).  I would give them the book as a gift and explain that I am concerned that our society is not meeting the needs of the dying and that we believe we can help.  I would point to initiatives like The Conversation Project at Harvard.  Then I would offer to help in setting up programs to help people talk openly about dying.  I WOULD NOT HAVE A SELLING AGENDA, ONLY A RELATIONSHIP AGENDA.