"Render unto Caesar," said the grantee of a social justice organization (thirteen volunteers, one of whom was Judas) when asked about Metrics, "and unto God the things that are God's." What can be measured and managed, surveilled, and turned to Caesar's public and corporate purposes are conscripts, consumers, workers on the aqueduct, wage slaves, tax payers and tax collectors, and gladiators fighting to the death, to see who is best, for the amusment of Patricians. What cannot be meausred is the power of the Widow's mite, and the mustard seed. These trivial gifts, and seeds of change, connected to no materialistic or measurable logic model, are beneath the radar. Let them remain so. For the last shall be first, and the meek shall inhert. And that is not what Caesar's metrics are managing.
In the same vein, at a recent conference, I heard a rising star speak about creating the infrastructure to measure and manage the nonprofit sector. I wanted to ask his Board Scores, Class Rank, and whether or not he was Phi Beta Kappa, to see if he or I was smarter, and by how much, but I refrained. He was clearly smart enough to build a Taxonomy of Nonprofit Excellence, to disrupt, innovate, improve and manage the efforts of those nonprofts that grow to scale and to insure the Darwinian extinction (creative destruction) of those that do not. This will channel the most money to orgs that Do the Most Good. This is the Future of Good Enough.
I said to him, "For some of us the nonprofit world is a refuge from all that." He responded as the smartest graduate of the best schools today would: "Refuge!!!!" I said, "Sanctuary." He said, "Sanctuary????"
Render unto Caesar. And keep low, under the radar, until the wave of activity in the Colosseum, for the amusement of the Patricians runs its course. The next indignity is the Christian Emperor, and the Holy Roman Empire, run like a Corporation, too big to Fail, with a double bottom line, and a huge secret bank. For the time being, as dangerous as the times are for the spirit to move among a few gathered here and there, it is still the best and most productive time. There is no refuge. There is no sanctuary. Nothing to tax, manage or surveille. Nothing is happening here.