Last night I was in the kitchen, cooking up some radicchio for dinner* (Liver loves those bitter chicories!) and listening to “Marketplace” on NPR. I don't know why, I sort of hate NPR and Capitalism, but I have a soft spot for “Marketplace.” Maybe it's because they talk about international events and ecological issues through the lens of macroeconomics; I guess it's nice that they're not pretending that that's what the news is mostly really about. (And last night they really won me over by using New Order and Siouxie for their interstitial music.) Anyway, this show inclulded a commentator, Charles Handy, talking about the obsession businesses have with growth. He argued that many organizations (schools, orchestras) get to the size they should be, and then just try to do what they do BETTER, not bigger; and that there's a sort of natural limit to the size an organization can be before it doesn't feel appropriately scaled to the humans working in it (I'm very strongly paraphrasing here). The part I really liked was this: “An executive in the project I am working on at the Drucker School in Claremont, California calls the business he created a “bonsai” organization, after those small Japanese trees. These trees need to be trimmed and reshaped, but they don't grow beyond their ordained size. So it is, he says with his organization, and if you really have to be bigger, then maybe the challenge is to create woods of bonsai trees. This way, the economies of scale and the personal ambitions of our leaders won't run up against the constraints of human nature, because if we aren't careful, organizations can become the prisons for our souls.” (full text is at https://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/02/25/bonsai_business/) Acupuncture clinics are sort of unlike mainstream businesses in that we really need to remain human-scaled. CAN seems to me to be the kind of bonsai forest this fellow describes: each clinic human-scaled and locally-rooted, but connected to other similar organizations for support. *Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees. While it's heating, brown about 2T of butter in a pan, and slice a few small heads of radicchio vertically through the center, into sixths or so (trim the very bottom off first) and put them in a baking dish or tray. When the butter is slightly browned, pour it over the radicchio, and toss a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into the still-hot pan to reduce for a sec. When that's done, pour that over the radicchio as well, toss it all together, and roast it in the oven, turning a few times till it's tender (about 20 minutes or so). If you really want to gild the lily, crumble some blue cheese over it, or some hard grating cheese, parmesean or romano; and if you don't do dairy at all you could make it with olive oil instead of butter. Delish with polenta.
This is a unique time; the community
acupuncture movement is in the process of shifting its foundation
from CAN to POCA, from a 501c6 nonprofit to a cooperative. There’s
change happening at every level. We’re only about five years old as
an organization, and yet we’ve done a total overhaul already.