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Northern California Regional Services

Northern California Regional Services

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Northern California Regional Services

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  1. Northern California Regional Services Our Service System – “What’s New?”

  2. Purpose of Today's Presentation The Purpose of today’s presentation is to provide NA members with information on the efforts underway to revitalize the NA Service System, both world-wide, and here at home in Northern California. Specifically, we will look at: • Fellowship-wide discussions on the need to improve our service system, the work undertaken by the NAWS Service System Work Group, and innovations tried by some NA communities • Efforts underway to revitalize Northern California Regional Services in light of many of the same identified issues; Including an in-depth look at the proposed Northern California “Fellowship Services Team” Our Service System

  3. Northern California Regional Services Our Service System Part 1: An Overview of our service system Matt S, Alternate Delegate

  4. NA Services: What you’ve told us is not working Massive amounts of input have been collected from the fellowship between 2004 and 2008 on the following Fellowship Issue Discussion Topics: • Infrastructure and • Our Service System What follows is just a partial list of the themes we heard very clearly from the fellowship on what is not working with our current service system: NAWS Service System Project

  5. NA Services: What’s not working • Atmosphere • No atmosphere of recovery in service meetings • Service meetings are not attractive • Lack of spiritual principles in service. • Not enough use of the 12 concepts • Lack of unity: Too much arguing and gossiping • People with clean time don’t lead by example • Racial and other tensions • Personalities before principles • Cliques • Lack of trust • Fear of change • Service too often has a negative image NAWS Service System Project

  6. NA Services: What’s not working • Structure of the Service Meetings—Process Issues • Few personalities dominating the discussion (bullies) • Don’t start and end on time • Meetings are too long and lack a clear focus • Agendas aren’t followed and target dates aren’t met • Need to incorporate workshop approach to structure of area • People leave before ASC is over • Too many subcommittees (though some said just enough) • Policies • Not being followed or not in place • Lack of accountability NAWS Service System Project

  7. NA Services: What’s not working • Selection of Trusted Servants • We do not communicate expectations and duties of positions well nor do we confront members who do not fulfill their obligations • Selection of trusted servants is not thoughtful or careful enough. • People are “railroaded” or “warm-bodied” into positions. • Elections can be a popularity contest • Clean time is too often waived • People without much time hold positions before they are ready. NAWS Service System Project

  8. NA Services: What’s not working • Training and Mentorship • People not well prepared for positions—lack of mentoring and training, lack of clean time, lack of knowledge about the system. • Need better education of service structure and principles • Need to better support and encourage new people who take commitments • Alternates don’t attend area/region enough • Members volunteer for commitments and then become so frustrated and overwhelmed that they leave • People with time leaving. Lack of guidance and experience • Sponsors not helping spondees get involved in service work • Problems in transitioning from service positions; • No records kept—reinventing the wheel NAWS Service System Project

  9. NA Services: What’s not working • Money • Not enough money (esp. going into basket). Meetings are having trouble paying rent; trusted servants are not always funded • Misuse of money • Too much money kept in reserves, hoarding funds • Separate fund flows for different areas of service with no accountability • Poor budgeting for coming year NAWS Service System Project

  10. NA Services: What’s not working • People • Not enough (committed, skilled) people involved • Apathy • Ego • Not enough representation at ASC • Not enough area involvement at region • Lack of commitment & follow-through. People not willing to spend the time • Poor fit of talent to task • Resources go to conventions, not to carrying the message • Lack of rotation • No alternates NAWS Service System Project

  11. NA Services: What’s not working • Communication • The chain of communication doesn’t work. NAWS RSCs  ASCs  Groups • We don’t communicate well between service body meetings • We need better use of technology • Poor handwriting (!) • Poor communication across language barriers • GSRs don’t get information to groups, either because they are unwilling or unable to or because there is too much information and the meeting structure doesn’t allow it. No GSR reports in meetings • Some “hoard” information because they want control NAWS Service System Project

  12. NA Services: What’s not working • Structure • Not enough unity within and between areas • Area splits that leave groups isolated and underserved, and leave questions about how to handle shared services, among other challenges • Metro—areas not understanding what the function of the metro is not using GSR assemblies or experiencing challenges implementing them • Large geographic distances make it hard for members to participate in service and centralization of services in some of these places leads members to feel alienated, not want to get involved. • Area not serving groups; region not serving areas • Lack of flexibility in the structure. Form doesn’t follow function. • Rural groups are often underserved or feel underserved NAWS Service System Project

  13. NA Services: What’s not working • Decision-making processes • Trouble transitioning to (or not transitioning to) CBDM • Don’t always hear all points of view • Lack of understanding of group conscience—think it’s just a vote not a spiritual concept • Planning & Evaluation • Lack of planning • Budgets are not evaluated and adjusted according to changing needs • No inventories • Duplication of efforts • We need a more productive and responsive service structure, better follow-through • Failure to see NA as a whole—lack of vision NAWS Service System Project

  14. Other Considerations: • Many of the preceding issues were identified as problems with World Services in the l1990’s. Most have been solved through a comprehensive restructure of our world services system. Although world services has changed tremendously in the last 10 years; local services for the most part haven’t. The following piecemeal attempts to revitalize our service system have proven only marginally effective: • 12 Concepts for NA Service (1992) – Struggling to apply new principles to an old system • PR Handbook (2006) – New room on an old house? • The Area Planning Tool (2006) – Why plan for services? NAWS Service System Project

  15. NAWS Service System Work Group • NAWS has created a Service System Work Group That will meet from 2008 – 2011 and present some materials for fellowship consideration at the 2012 World Service Conference. • The groups charge from the World Service Conference over the course of project is to: • Create a common vision for all NA Service Efforts, and • Frame options for local service delivery • Serving the group are three members of the World Board, three office staff, and members from Florida, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Minnesota, Brazil, Sweden, New York, Australia, Illinois, and Northern California NAWS Service System Project

  16. NAWS Service System Work Group • At their January 2009 meeting, the World Board and project support staff reviewed the process of defining the ‘mega issue’ of our service system. The session essentially led to the following “Big Question:” • “How can we build a system of service within NA that is driven by unity of purpose, and that allows for flexibility in meeting the diverse service needs and goals of our NA communities?” NAWS Service System Project

  17. Service System Project Anticipated Outcomes: • Greater cooperation/unity in achieving a common vision • A system that drives all to the same goals, yet allows for diverse means to get there (to meet diverse community needs); • a system for service that allows for greater flexibility in structure • Encourage more members to engage in service and to stimulate • development of leadership • Greater spiritual development of members • Members see value in participating in service as a vital part of recovery • Healthier atmosphere for application of spiritual principles NAWS Service System Project

  18. Service System Project Anticipated Outcomes: • All parts of the structure understand their value and are empowered to contribute • More open flow of information/communication throughout the system (including accurate information on members) • Instill a culture of planning and creativity within all levels of the structure • Positive impact on external recognition, credibility and respect for NA • Save lives NAWS Service System Project

  19. NAWS Service System Work Group – A Vision for NA Services • A Common Vision for all NA Services NAWS Service System Project

  20. NAWS Service System Work Group – A Vision for NA Services • A spiritual foundation to the system – what are the core spiritual principles underlying the service system, and how are they applied practically to the effective delivery of service in NA? We have a commonly accepted foundation of principle – how do we move forward from here? • Communication and information flow within the structure; • Shift from a ‘structure driven’ system to a ‘process driven’ system NAWS Service System Project

  21. NAWS - Framing Options for Local Service Delivery • Political Considerations: • Many current methods of communication on this type of issue rely on those who are most entrenched in the old system and therefore the message won’t reach those members who have been disenfranchised and alienated • There are factions that feel differently about the current system; Implementation at the necessary levels will need to engage those who maybe most resistant • Structural change will create an emotional response in many members NAWS Service System Project

  22. NAWS - Framing Options for Local Service Delivery • Ethical Considerations: • We have to create a service system that can be run by NA members - one that is feasible and clear • Present concepts at a level that all members can understand, even those outside the system • There has to be full access to service and the process for all members – those with the desire and will to participate are able to because the opportunity is there • Our structure isn’t a barrier to any addict having access to NA service – it has to be open to all levels of recovery • Diversity can’t be a barrier to access – a system must be appropriate to all cultures NAWS Service System Project

  23. NAWS - Framing Options for Local Service Delivery • Other observations: • Groups and service bodies tend to follow written guidelines as gospel even if they are only offered as suggestions. Levels of consciousness may not currently be up to the change we envisage. • Are we seeing intimidation rather than apathy limiting involvement in service? Is our system unattractive or off-putting? • The Iranian service model was created by a central group who designed the system. They had the Guide to Local Service translated, but didn’t use it as a mandate to create the structures that it outlines. NAWS Service System Project

  24. Framing Options for Service Delivery – Local Examples Iran

  25. Framing Options for Service Delivery – Local Examples Florida

  26. Framing Options for Service Delivery – Local Examples • Florida Region 2008-2009 Projects • Pen Pals in Prisons & Jails – established and functional • Public Relations Schedule for 2009 - completed • Area Service 101 – creating service tools for ASC’s • Florida Service Symposium - completed • Guide to Regional Service Committee – one year project • Latino Outreach – in process • Young Peoples Workgroup – in process • Prison Clearance – in process • Leadership Training – CD is available with leadership training skills materials • Literature Racks in Hospital ER’s – in process • Statewide PSA’s – in process • Area Incorporation & Bank Accounts – human resource panel filling workgroup • Finances (Group, Area and Regional) – human resource panel filling workgroup Florida

  27. Framing Options for Service Delivery – Local Examples Minnesota

  28. Framing Options for Service Delivery – Local Examples China: • Elections by Email • Instant Messenger RSC • Communications Committee umbrella over H&I. PR, Phone line Sweden: • Five Times through the Area Planning Tool • Sponsoring the Polish Region • Use “Skype” VOIP Conference Calling between RSCs Local Service Options

  29. Framing Options for Service Delivery – Local Examples Brazil: • Country has divided into 5 Regions • Creating a country-wide Brazil Zonal Forum Local Service Options

  30. Framing Options for Service Delivery – Local Examples Sacramento Fellowship: • Using Consensus Based Decision Making • Creating an Area Pool and process for task-based service German Speaking Region: • Using Consensus Based Decision Making • Have adopted “Behavior” guidelines (Work group values) for their RSC Local Service Options

  31. NCRSC Strategic Planning - 2007 The NCRSC embarked on comprehensive inventory and strategic planning through use of the Area Planning Tool, identifying the following areas for improvement: • Learning Days and Regional Assemblies • Training and Orientation • Format & Structure of the RSC • Task-Based & Coordinator Service • Improving PR (and H&I) 2007 RSC Inventory

  32. 1. Learning Days and Regional Assemblies • A working group has been created to develop the first of what may eventually be quarterly service learning days titled “NA 101” – Welcome!!! 2007 RSC Inventory

  33. 2. Training and Orientation • Admin has developed a comprehensive PowerPoint RSC orientation for new RCMS or Participants. We are discussing training veteran RCMs to take over this role; essentially becoming peer mentors. • The NCRSC Held its first “Leadership in NA” training session in June 2008, immediately prior to regional elections. This was based on extensive tools provided by NAWS and further developed by Admin. It is our hope to do this annually in future years 2007 RSC Inventory

  34. 3. Format & Structure of the RSC • The NCRSC will adopt a form of Consensus Based Decision Making (CBDM) as it’s decision making model – this is still undone • The RSC will rotate its meeting up to two times a year as a matter of Policy; One RSC will be on an even numbered month and one on an odd numbered month to allow both PR and H&I to participate in traveling RSCs • The NCRSC will hold small group discussion sessions on a quarterly basis, coinciding two of these with the traveling RSCs to maximize fellowship participation. • Starting in January 2009, for a 6 month trial basis, the Regional Service Committee Meeting will be a bi-monthly business session with every other month being a sharing forum only. 2007 RSC Inventory

  35. Experiments with RSC Format We have tried 2 “Non-Business RSCs” with: • Extended (almost 2 hours) Admin (FST) meeting • Ninety minutes of Regional Work Group meetings • Direct Interaction between Work Groups and the RCMs • Extended Forum time for thorough discussion of Fellowship Issues & Needs • This month is our first true “Bi-Monthly RSC” If this works, we are hopeful it will allow us to have real “Non RSC months to focus on working groups and holding more NA 101 events. This will help to minimize burn-out of regional trusted servants • The RSC will evaluate the Bi-Monthly concept in July 2009

  36. 4. Task-based & coordinator service • H&I To switch from committee to coordinator model • The Administrative Committee, H&I Coordinators, and PR Coordinators Shall combine to form a cohesive “Fellowship Services Team” • Approved and Implemented a Regional Pool for gathering human resources throughout the fellowship • Approved External Guidelines for a Regional Nominations Panel that will begin in January 2007 RSC Inventory

  37. 5. Improving PR (And H&I) • H&I To switch from committee to Coordinator Model • The Administrative Committee, H&I Coordinators, and PR Coordinators Shall combine to form a cohesive “Fellowship Services Team” • Regional H&I and PR Forums have been moved to the 4th Saturday of the Month to allow for more flexibility and time within their sessions for training & mentoring. This also allows the coordinators and Admin members to be full participants in both meetings • New working group system will give higher resource and funding priority to mission-critical PR/H&I projects 2007 RSC Inventory

  38. Work we’ve done so far • Approved a new budget process that allows Leadership to evaluate, prioritize and approve travel requests. The process also identifies routine regional services as a priority and creates a separate tracking process for special projects. • Projects must be approved by the NCRSC, have a proposed budget and timeline, as well as available discretionary funds, prior to funding • Approved procedures for traveling RSCs, including funding for RCMs. We’ve also significantly modified the RSC Travel Policy to provide increase funding assistance for remote areas RCMs • Approved policies and procedures for the Regional Pool and Regional Nominations Panel and have enacted both. 2007 RSC Inventory

  39. Work we’ve done so far The Regional Pool went online in the fall of 2008. So far, we have used the pool to: • Selected 4 members from the fellowship at large to work on the “Fellowship Services Team” working group. - More on this group later! • Selected a pool member to assist our PR Coordinator in facilitating an inventory at the Contra Costa ASC, utilizing the Area Planning Tool • Selected a pool member to assist in an inventory at the Peninsula ASC 2007 RSC Inventory

  40. Work we’ve done so far • Selected a pool member who is also a member of the World Services workgroup on revising the “fund flow” IPs to assist with a fund flow presentation at the SF ASC • Selected a pool member from the 916 North area as part of the travel team for the Shasta-Trinity/River Cities “Bridging the Gap” Event. This pool member co-facilitated a Unity workshop with over 50 persons in attendance! • Our first Regional Nominations Panel was formed in January 2009. This group unfortunately never got traction this year, but we are hopeful to try the process again next year 2007 RSC Inventory

  41. NCRSC Working Group Values The Administrative Committee, H&I, and PR Coordinators Met offsite in September 2008 for an extended team building meeting in which we developed a set of “working group values” These values are read and practiced, to the best of our ability, at all Administrative committee and working group meetings. We are hopeful that these values will become the foundation for future changes to the culture of Regional Services NCRSC Work Group Values

  42. NCRSC Working Group Values • As a group, our primary principles are those embodied in NA’s Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and the Twelve Concepts for NA Service. • We affirm that unity, mutual respect and trust is paramount to the effectiveness of the group and shall characterize all our interactions and communications. We shall focus ourselves on these values at the beginning and ending of each meeting. • We will strive to meet our stated goals for each meeting and shall always strive to assist the RSC in achieving their vision for the work assigned to us. NCRSC Work Group Values

  43. NCRSC Working Group Values • We affirm that workgroup discussions and deliberations will be balanced. No one person will dominate our discussions, and everyone will actively participate. Only one person will speak at a time, and there will be no side-bar conversations. • We encourage one another to offer our personal views, ideas, creativity and vision to all work group deliberations and projects and to take risks by not confining ourselves to pre-conceived limitations. • We affirm that workgroup issues will be discussed – not personalities. NCRSC Work Group Values

  44. NCRSC Working Group Values • We will strive to achieve consensus whenever possible and we will not separate ourselves as individuals from the consensus of the group. We will each take responsibility for the decisions of the group. • In keeping with the spirit of the Eighth and Ninth Concepts, We shall always strive to report any minority or dissenting viewpoints from our group, should one exist, in all our communications • We will demonstrate respect for other members of the group by reading material provided between meetings, maintaining communication between meetings and arriving prepared for each meeting; working together to ensure that our meetings start and end on time. NCRSC Work Group Values

  45. Proposed NCRSC Components: Northern California RSC NCRSO *Same as current Regional Nominations Panel Fellowship Services Team (FST) NCCNA *Same as current Project Working Group Project Working Group Project Working Group

  46. Our Service System Part 2 The Northern California Fellowship Services Team Michael H, Napa/Solano Area Northern California Regional Services

  47. Building the FST: FOUNDATION A SOLID BASE OF COMMONLY AGREED PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO SERVICE FOUNDATION A SOLID BASE OF COMMONLY AGREED PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO SERVICE FOUNDATION A SOLID BASE OF COMMONLY AGREED PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO SERVICE FUNCTION CONNECTING OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE TO THE ACTIONS OF OUR SERVICE BODIES FOUNDATION A SOLID BASE OF COMMONLY AGREED PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO SERVICE FORM BUILDING STRUCTURES THAT ENABLE US TO BE PRODUCTIVE FST Work Group Form Follows Function!

  48. Building the FST: FOUNDATION A SOLID BASE OF COMMONLY AGREED PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO SERVICE FOUNDATION A SOLID BASE OF COMMONLY AGREED PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO SERVICE Foundation: • NCRSC Work Group Values • Steps, Traditions, and Concepts • Agreement on a “team Approach” FST Work Group Form Follows Function!

  49. Building the FST: FOUNDATION A SOLID BASE OF COMMONLY AGREED PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO SERVICE FUNCTION CONNECTING OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE TO THE ACTIONS OF OUR SERVICE BODIES Function: • Functions of an FST • FST Mission Statement FST Work Group Form Follows Function!

  50. Building the FST Form: • Composition of the FST • FST External Guidelines • FST Working Group Charter FOUNDATION A SOLID BASE OF COMMONLY AGREED PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO SERVICE FORM BUILDING STRUCTURES THAT ENABLE US TO BE PRODUCTIVE FST Work Group Form Follows Function!