>Stev Lux writes: I have a few questions about building a search
conference into a >project the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public
Affairs would like to >implement in Hungary.
I have written several articles on the Search Conference and was a
reviewer on a book coming out this May. I suggest you buy the new book on
the Search Conference authored by Drs. Merrelyn Emery and Ronald Purser
from Jossey-Bass: "The Search Conference: A Powerful Method for Planning
Organizational Change and Community Action". To order the book you can
call 415-433-1767 or fax 800-605-2665. The Management Section ISBN number
I recommend this book because previous texts have not been as thorough and
clear regarding the underlying theory and how to translate that
theoretical foundation into methods for planning and learning in
community. Billy Alban who is working on a book with Barbara Bunker
comparing various approaches to large scale change was favorably impressed
by an earlier draft of the book and thought it would make the approach
more accessible to practioners.
In regards to your question: "Are their relevant case studies to read
before writing the proposal for the project in Hungary?
I would suggest you read several articles from the Journal of Quality and
Participation. (You can order issues by calling their 800 # at
1-800-733-3310). One is "The Power Of Community Search Conferences" by
Merrelyn Emery. This is her reflection on the use of the Search Conference
from 1972 through 1995 in Australia and is an inspiring piece. Another
good article is by my friend and colleague, Frank Heckman, entitled "A New
Method For Achieving Community Execellence". Both of these articles are in
the December 95 issue of the Journal of Quality and Participation. I wrote
two articles on the Search Conference (with Fred Emery, Merrelyn Emery,
Janet Fiero) in the July/August 1995 issue of their journal as well. These
are useful since they cover the theory and method relatively
You ask: "Should one be concerned with the readiness of the audience to
accept the search conference methodology?" Absolutely. The preparation
phase is critcal to success. That is why it is important to understand the
theory. When Susan Aaronson and I worked with the educational community in
Maine their was a lot of context setting and educating that was required
to prepare people for the conference. The articles and book will help. If
you want to learn the method directly from the source, Merrelyn Emery,
will be teaching a six day workshop at New Mexico State University. I just
called to determine availability. The first one is filled but there are
five places left on May 27 - June 1. The number is 505-646-1044.
Steve, if you are in a rush, I'd be happy to send you the above mentioned
articles directly. And if you want to call and ask any questions regarding
how to handle the preparation for a Search Conference you can reach me at
my office 508-466-6884.
All the best.
Whole System Associates
PO Box 254
Lincoln, MA. 01773
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>