boxes of books in preparation for our May 9th books and logo launchIt's a whole new world of inclusion and interdependence and we're excited to be part of it.   Over the last few years we've been experimenting with ideas from social enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking.   One of the surprises has been, as the only non-profit participants in a two year course for about two dozen people which intended to double our "business" while seizing real-life opportunities along the way to learn about everything from strategic planning to HR to PR to networking and sales techniques, that our sector and the world of business have a LOT to offer each other.   For one thing, they're really nice people.  It's not like that guy with the apprentice show.   They're really not just out to make a buck - they have dreams and commitments and concerns just like we all do - and often they are very similar concerns about the world we all share.   For another thing, they have refreshing accountability.  The accountability, or lack of it, in social services is a whole other conversation but we might simply say we prefer to hang out with people who stand accountable for who they are and what they contribute, who are okay to take a chance and make a mistake and say they're sorry and fix it.   People who don't want to cling to a bunch of old ideas that once seemed innovative.  

Another surprise was that they need us.   Not as a "non-profit" (that took a while for them to figure out and, again, it's another conversation - if everything is to be congruent and we want to position people with disabilities so that their strengths and gifts are apparent do we really want to be known for what we don't do?) but as business partners who know how to excite communities, how to engage staff and discover commitment to a larger goal together, how to be creative problem-solvers and as people who know how to stretch a penny.  

A few projects, three books and a DVD later, we're ready to launch.   Bring it! as "The Rock" says.   So feel free to purchase, to send your friends, to submit your stories and ideas to our press.   Welcome to our latest take on community!

Aaron Johannes, Director of Training, Research and Development and one of the proud parents of Spectrum Press.