Vincentian Collaboration touted in Organizational Development journal.
In an article challenging Organizational Development professionals to address multiple challenges and opportunities for eradicating poverty, the Vincentian Family Collaborative Action Project (VFCAP) received praise as a model of what could be done.
It noted that Vincent, living in a time of famine, war and unequal distribution of wealth, showed an amazing ability to bring people together from all social strata to work in common initiatives to eradicate poverty. Vincent told his followers “the poor suffer less from a lack of generosity than from a lack of organization.”
The article singled out that the focus of the VFCAP program would not be solely on direct service for those living in poverty but to address also the policies, practices, systems, and cultures of institutions.
The two dominant goals were (a) appreciate the worldwide Vincentian Family’s potential to help people and communities emerge from poverty and (b) appreciate that collaboration and systemic change are ongoing processes of transformation.
To this end they developed a six day experiental training program inviting key leaders of Vincentian Family organizations with the purpose of not only re-rooting them in the vision of St. Vincent de Paul but also the grand mission of all the Vincentian organizations.
In technical terms this organizational development process was a whole sytem change intervention as defined by catalyzing “system wide changes in goals, service delivery arrangements, and relationships between actors, requiring approaches to implementation that go beyond projects or programs” (Schneider et al., 2014, p.)
Although there was not a single individual or organizational entity with label “Organizational Development” the global design team in functioning in that role by assuring that VFCAP focuses upon the three levels of the organization: individual, group/team, and organization.
The design team modeled a new way of collaborating across different organizations with the Vincentian Family operating in different parts of the world.