From Our Executive Director: Seeking Stability

by | Executive Director, Field Notes

“True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed.”

Tom Robbins

This year, Mt Adams Institute has been seeking stability. The organization has emerged from the tumult of the pandemic and a challenging ED transition to resume our in-person programs and continue with our mission “to connect people to the natural world through education, service learning, research, and career development.” In some ways, we are back to business as usual, but we are not the same as before. Some staff members have left the organization, others have taken on new roles, we are currently hiring, and everyone has pitched in to help where needed. 

The pandemic opened the doors to new methods and technologies in which to work together, but how we choose to use these and their impacts on our organization is still being understood and reconciled. Video conferencing has broadened and diversified our workforce. Homes are now also offices. Offices are being reevaluated as to their purpose and frequency of usage, and people are learning how to connect, calendar, plan, and engage one another in a variety of formats. This shift has fundamentally changed how we work and our needs as an organization. 

Like many organizations, this is all new, and newness creates more work, at least at the outset. We know what we don’t want to lose from our newfound freedoms and responsibilities but are still navigating what that means in the day-to-day of our organization. How do we collaborate, strengthen connections, build trust, and find systems that support growth both individually and as an organization?

Today, we are meeting at the Mt. Adams Institute campus. We are all grounded in this place, present and in person. We are here as a new joint team of board and staff members quite simply to connect, reflect, learn, listen, and share. Our staff works hard every day to realize our mission, and it is not possible to do justice to the work they do in our allotted time, so the goal is instead to provide context about our programs and work so that later in the day, everyone can ask more detailed questions while mingling and getting to know one another. We see this just as the first step in an ongoing orientation and learning process about Mt. Adams Institute.

We greatly appreciate our board being here in person and their desire to help strengthen and stabilize this organization through their service as board members. We sincerely look forward to getting to know each of them better.

Tucker Szymkowicz, Executive Director of Mt. Adams Institute