Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Henry Mintzberg wrote the classical research on office politics. And he points out that dying organizations have a higher degree of politics which causes them to die faster. He points out this is good for it ends and redistributes the assets of highly polarized organizations. This may be happening in many churches as well. According to Mintzberg, the highly political nature of dying congregations serves the purpose of helping them die quicker and then the resources, namely people, can be scattered more quickly into other organizations. Read this original article in the Journal of Management Studies for more interesting insights.”
THE ORGANIZATION AS POLITICAL ARENA – Henry Mintzberg – Journal of Management Studies – Wiley Online Library
Politics and conflict sometimes capture an organization in whole or significant part, giving rise to a form we call the Political Arena. After discussing briefly the system of politics in organizations, particularly as a set of ‘political games’, we derive through a series of propositions four basic types of Political Arenas: the complete Political Arena (characterized by conflict that is intensive and pervasive), the confrontation (conflict that is intensive but contained), the shaky alliance (conflict that is moderate and contained), and the politicized organization (conflict that is moderate but pervasive). the interrelationships among these four, as well as the context of each, are then described in terms of a process model of life cycles of Political Arenas. A final section of the paper considers the functional roles of politics in organizations.
First, the resurgence of Reformed theology in American evangelicalism and fundamentalism–commonly referred to as the Neo-Reformed movement–is a belligerent movement. This is why it exists–to correct others, not to turn the spotlight inward. There are exceptions within, of course, and I am by no means suggesting everyone who sees him or herself as part of this movement exhibits this tendency. But the “system” is set up to fight. It’s what they do.
So don’t be shocked, Tullian, if it happens to you. Yesterday’s heroes can quickly become tomorrow’s vanquished foes. When “contending for the gospel” is your center of gravity, there’s always a foe. There has to be.
Second, theology properis to blame here–”theology” as in how we understand God.
Christians who can’t seem to walk away from a fight–who seem uncomfortable in a peace vacuum, who feel the gospel is at stake with nearly every perceived errant thought or difference of opinion, and who feel they need to group together and found organizations to protect the truth against all ungodly attacks–are showing us what their God is like.
If you are a fighter, chances are the God you imagine is:
fundamentally hacked off, retributive, touchy, demanding of theological precision, uncompromising, takes-no-prisoners-and-gives-no-quarter, whose wrath needs to be appeased so watch your step.
If that’s your God, you have full permission–in fact, you are commanded– to fight a lot, especially with other Christians–a modern day Phinehas weeding out the covenant breakers among us (Numbers 25), God’s instrument of retribution.
When Your Team Reverts to the Old Strategy
by Amy Gallo, Harvard Business Review
An important overview of John Kotter’s change principles to:
1) Go slow,
2) Build consensus
3) And succeed.
This supports these lessons in my books: “Staying Power: Why people leave the church over change and what you can do about it” (2003) and “Preparing for change reaction: How to introduce change in your church” (2010).
In this very helpful overview by Gallo of Kotter’s work, you will learn how to create teamwork that prevents the team-killing rise of “choosers” and “choiceless doers.”
Studies show that the number of corporate alliances increases by some 25% a year and that those alliances account for nearly a third of many companies’ revenue and value—yet the failure rate for alliances ho on how to make alliances win the past decade.
Alliances, however, are not just any business arrangement. They demand a high degree of interdependence between companies that may continue to compete against each other in the marketplace. They require the ability to navigate—and often to actively leverage—significant differences between partners’ strengths and operating styles. These characteristics make the common wisdom about alliance management both incomplete and misleading, causing companies to ignore or underemphasize other, potentially more important drivers of success.
To begin achieving reliably higher success rates with their alliances, companies need to shift their focus to five principles that complement the conventional advice. This means:
“Identify common ground
To start a difficult conversation the right way, it’s important for you and your coworker to identify something you agree on…
Hear your coworker out
Even if you think you already understand your coworker’s perspective, you should hear what she has to say. Ask questions that help you fully understand her point of view and determine whether your disagreement is a function of differing interests or differing perceptions. According to Weiss, this requires that you “stop figuring out your next line” and actively listen…
Once you’ve heard your coworker out, share your own story. This should not be done in a ‘point, counter-point’ way, but should focus on helping your coworker see where you’re coming from. If she challenges your interpretation, let her vent and express her frustration.
Propose a resolution
When all of the data is on the table, offer a resolution. Don’t propose what you walked in the door with, but use the information you gathered during your conversation to come up with a better solution. Say to your coworker, ‘You’ve said A, and I’ve said B, perhaps we can consider solution C’…”