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organizational culture Archives - David Werdiger

Democracy Comes to Yeshivah

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With the passing of a new Jewish year and the fresh spiritual energy this brings to the world, there is a palpable buzz around the Yeshivah as we approach something that has never happened here before: democratic elections. The intersection between democracy and Orthodox Judaism is a complex one that is still developing, and after a baptism of fire over the last few years, our community is likely breaking new ground in its transformation from closed to…

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Who Wants to be a Leader?

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As the restructure process at Yeshivah Centre inches forward, and we draw closer to elections, the big question is: who will nominate to hold board positions on the new legal entities that will operate the school, shule, and other business units of the Centre? Three new legal entities will require over twenty people to put their hands up. There are a few challenges in taking the leap from where we are now to where we need to be. 1. Despite…

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Can Yeshivah take the cultural steps forward?

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A wise friend of mine adapted the Harvard-developed negotiation model (seven elements, getting to yes) to articulate a hierarchy of three ways a dispute can be resolved: power, rights and interests. Power is a very effective way to resolve a dispute. For example, a child says “I want to do X”, and their parent says “no”. The dispute is very quickly resolved through the use of power. It works well because of the power imbalance…

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Case Study: Oligarch Enterprises

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This is written in the style of a Harvard case study. It is an allegory; imagine a real company in this situation and facing similar challenges. The questions at the end are a guide to what the issues are and the process to deal with them. Suggested answers are most welcome. “They did what?!” exclaimed William, Chairman of Oligarch Enterprises, at one of the regular informal gatherings of the “mini-board”. The recovery of the supermarket division was progressing…

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Power Changes at Yeshivah

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(with thanks to Jeff) There are important changes to power happening at Yeshivah Shul. For a few days now, it has been running on partial power while they upgrade the switchboard. In shul this Shabbos the lights were not all working, electric clocks were flashing with the wrong time, and there was only air conditioning in one room. Outside, there lay parts of an old switchboard that looks like it should have been replaced years…

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How to win a PR war

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Here is a simple, step-by-step, guide to winning a public relations war. 1. Be a victim. The world loves a victim. Victims are by definition helpless, so they need someone to help them (see 2a), and there are no shortage of do-gooders out there looking for victims to help (whether or not they can actually help them). It doesn’t matter if you actually were a victim, if you were a victim yesterday, 20 years ago, 200…

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Tiger Ben

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The Ben Cousins story has done for sports columns what Princess Diana’s death did for trashy women’s magazines. The only difference is that the Cousins saga doesn’t have the same degree of finality to it. Let’s hope they have plenty of positive things to write about him, as he begins his career as a Richmond Tiger. It’s been great to see the energy that this has brought to the Tiger fans. As usual, the e-mails…

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