The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust has published books in more than 60 languages, continually translating texts into additional languages, and has maintained the archives of all of Srila Prabhupada's works
, California: In today's fast-paced world, most of us would have trouble sitting through five days of non-stop meetings. For the trustees of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT), however, who met last week in Los Angeles, California, five days of organizational meetings was just the beginning.
After completing the trust's quarterly planning sessions, seventeen trustees, managers, and staff members gave up their three-day weekend to attend an intensive communications seminar taught by ISKCON Director of Communications, Anuttama Dasa.
The BBT is the publishing arm of the Hare Krishna movement, and is said to be the world's largest publisher of Vedic, or Vaishnava, religious texts. It is also the authorized publisher of the entire works of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
While the BBT has proven expertise in publishing books in more than 60 languages, continually translating texts into additional languages, and maintaining the archives of all of Srila Prabhupada's works, it has also faced its share of communication problems.
"BBT is a worldwide entity with offices in five countries," said Jayadvaita Swami, one of seven BBT International trustees. "We meet several times a year and are in constant touch on email, but we still felt the need for training to better respond to the needs of our constituents and help us be a more effective team." Highlights of the training included workshops on listening skills for managers, empowerment and delegation, assessment and accountability, and understanding the needs, interests and concerns of the BBT's demographic.
"It is the age of quarrel, so we also have our share of critics," said Hanuman Dasa, director of the Spanish division of the BBT. "It's essential we communicate well with the people who care about what we do, especially when it comes to understanding the elaborate steps the BBT takes to assure the highest accuracy and fidelity to Srila Prabhupada's words."