Pyramids – not just places to store dead bodies

It makes no difference what numbers you put into a pre-drawn pyramid, it's still going to look perfect. This is no good for analysis, but it's great for PR!
It makes no difference what numbers you put into a pre-drawn pyramid, it's still going to look perfect. This is no good for analysis, but it's great for PR!

Baha’is have been talking about “pyramids” for a few years now.  Probably the best known use of the term is in the phrase “What does the pyramid look like in our cluster?”. My limited understanding is that pyramids are a snapshot of a community’s “pyramid of human resources” In other words the numbers of people who have done each of the Ruhi books.

For example, each asterisk represents a person (sorry, a human resource), and each level represents a book:

Book 7 *
Book 6
Book 5 ***
Book 4 *******
Book 3 *****
Book 2 ************
Book 1 **************************

If you look real hard, you have a pyramid.   You can quickly see that too few human resources have taken Book 3, and that, sadly, book 6 is a human-resource-free zone. And somehow this matters.

I understand that it’s important for Baha’is to…

“move through the sequence of courses, in order to provide more human resources for the next cycle of the intensive program of growth”
ITC, 28 November 2004

…so maybe there’s a similar pyramid that charts how many Baha’is have taken how many courses.

Once you know the jargon, you can start introducing it naturally into your conversation, like this:

“The tutors then went into a consultation about plans to expand their pyramid of human resources in the next three months. 5 study circles will be started by 5 Book 7s and they aim to complete them by June.”
National Institute Board, “Tutors Times”, March 2006

Note the use of the phrase “Book 7s”, presumably denoting people who have completed the entire sequence of courses that are available so far.

“An important capacity of the institutions in promoting the two essential movements is the ability to interpret the ‘pyramid’ of human resources, that is, to look at the development of human resources and the consequent level of activity in the cluster and determine what needs to be done next.”
ITC, 28 November 2004

And that’s why we need institutions. Why, I bet half my readers couldn’t even name the “two essential movements”.

Ha-ha. No, that’s definitely not one of them.

“The friends in some clusters have successfully established their training program and pyramid of human resources, helping a sizable number of believers to proceed through the entire sequence of courses, thereby creating a new dynamic in the activities in the cluster.”
ITC, “Reflections on Growth”, March 2004

“Creating a new dynamic” – doesn’t that just sound new …and dynamic!

And please don’t miss the PowerPoint presentation of the revised training pyramid:

“View a presentation describing the process of training spiritual human resources, their movement through the sequence of courses, and their employment in various acts of service toward the community.”
Crimson Ark Regional Training institute – Understanding Trainings

I don’t know what the old training pyramid looked like, but this one is a whole lot better. A lot more learnings went into this one.

One thought on “Pyramids – not just places to store dead bodies”

  1. first we had the Friends,

    then we tried human resources, but they felt resourceful and started doing stuff: when you needed one it wasn’t there

    now we have book7’s and book5’s and not enough book6’s; a more refined system, and we can rely on them to sit on the shelf until needed

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