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Q&B Management Committee Meeting February 2018 - a personal reflection

On Wednesday afternoon 21st February 2018, I was kindly recommended (by Eoin McCarthy) and then invited to attend a meeting of the Q&B Management Committee in Bristol as a visitor.

The objective of the recommendation was in order for me to have the opportunity to experience the use of the Quaker Business Method (QBM) since I had been a visitor to the 2017 Q&B Conference in London, and during the conference a virtual group was formed with the aim of further exploring the QBM and how it could be used more by the corporate world. I indicated my interest in participating as part of that group as it supported my current more general spiritual studies and experiences. I am not a Quaker but recognise there is a real contribution that the QBM, has and can make in the future.

The committee meeting was attended by eight people, with two of us coming as guests while Wendrie Heywood and Elizabeth Redfern acted as Co-Clerks for the meeting.

It was touching how friendly and welcoming everybody was especially as I was so new to both the Committee and also the Quakers.

I was intrigued by the disciplined structure of the agenda approach coupled with the number of items that needed to be covered. This may have been an unusually busy agenda and required excellent marshalling skills from both Clerks to get us through matters within 3 hours.

With the Clerks realising that I was attending to observe and participate in experiencing the QBM, I was warned that perhaps time pressure may have meant I may have not experienced the QBM method to its fullest range. Whilst I suspect the above comments had a strong ring of truth to them, I was also pleasantly enthused by the power of time taken to craft an appropriate minute in response to each agenda item. Allowing everybody to ‘tune in’ to what was vibrating and needing to be acknowledged in the minutes felt very important; this was the first time I hadn’t seen minutes being taken rather than completed off line and submitted to just the chairperson for comment after the meeting and then approved at next committee. This was strongly generated in the moment.

My spiritual calling is in helping people to discover ‘the LIGHT within’ and to understand the spiritual stages which we all need to evolve through in order to start to better understand and experience what it means. When at the Conference in December at Friends House I found a nice Quaker book on ‘Spiritual Discernment’ which felt to be the key underpinning of this QBM work so I was excited to experience it. If I had any concern it was perhaps to have more focus on this spiritual discernment element to make sure that big issues could be called out when needed and that there was not an over focus on group consensus. Group consensus for the committee outcomes came over as important which was interesting to experience.

Overall my impressions of the day's experience were very positive and I acknowledge that I am keen to explore further the spiritual theology behind the QBM and to experience other possible uses and about how that this can be introduced more extensively for the benefit of the general corporate world.

Thank you again for allowing me to participate.

Malcolm Lewis