ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR & My Guide to How Org. Size Affects Organizational Behavior, Structures & Management

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 6/29/16.

To lead an organization, you must first understand how the organization “behaves” and then begin to “manage” the “organizational behavior.”  Here are comments about church organizational size, behavior and management edited together here from my writings.

Organizational Behavior & Structure

To lead an organization you must begin by analyzing how the organization behaves.  It is like a child, you adjust your parenting as they grow and behave differently.  So, to lead a church effectively you must first step back and watch how the organization behaves.

The first step in doing so is to look at how the church is made up of many smaller groupings.  Some of these groupings are small groups (around 12 people, but they can get larger), clusters (groups of 20-75 with an extended family focus) and sub-congregations (group of 30-150, notice the overlap) that function as tribal group focusing (usually) around celebrations.

Three Organizational Structures in Most Churches

Small groups:

  • Size: around 12 people, but they can get larger
  • Focus: intimacy, accountability
  • Ministry: UP-IN-OUT (typically):
    • IN = strong
    • UP = moderate
    • OUT = weak

Cluster:

  • Size: groups of 20-75, usually a cluster of formal (or informal) small groups
  • Focus: an extended family feel of interreliance and task orientation.
  • Ministry: UP-IN-OUT (typically):
    • IN = moderate
    • UP = moderate
    • OUT = strong

Sub-congregations:

  • Size: group of 30-150, notice the overlap
  • Focus: function as a tribal group (Dunbar Group) often focusing around celebrations
  • Ministry: UP-IN-OUT (typically):
    • IN = low
    • UP = strong
    • OUT = moderate to strong

 

More Details About Small Groups, Clusters and Sub-congregations

Small Groups

See these articles on small groups: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/?s=small+groups

Clusters:

The St. Tom’s Example:

In fact, Mike Breen (former rector of St. Tom’s Church in Sheffield England where cluster terminology developed) told me in a personal conversation that “Clusters are like the movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  That is because the cluster is made up of many nuclear families, which we call small groups, and this network of nuclear families creates an extended family feel – that’s what we call a cluster” (personal conversation, Peak District, UK, May 2005).

In Mike’s mind you could think of the small groups as each a circular grape, and when you get a bunch of small groups together you got a “cluster” (often sized 30-75).  So, a cluster is a network of small groups linked by a tribal or extended family identity.

But, Mike and his colleague Bob Hopkins felt the key to healthy clusters, is to “missionalize” these clusters is by addressing three elements.

Online you can find the book by Bob Hopkins and Mike Breen titled “Clusters: creating midsized missional communities” (3DMinistries.com and Alderway Publishing).

Dunbar’s Number:

An Introduction to Dunbar’s Number (from Whitesel’s Facts & Trends interview):

“Churches are taking advantage of Dunbar’s number,” says Bob Whitesel, a professor at Indiana Wesleyan University and church growth expert. Robin Dunbar, a British anthropologist, found humans can comfortably maintain only around 150 stable relationships. Beyond that, says Whitesel, “relationships don’t seem to have much depth.”

This is why he believes many churches stall around this plateau. “Once it gets bigger than that, people stop inviting others because they no longer know everyone else at church,” he says.

It’s incumbent on large church leaders to capitalize on smaller groups that organically emerge in the church. Whitesel calls these “sub-congregations,” and they mirror other numbers Dunbar found in his research. Groups of 50 can unite around a task, such as the music ministry or preschool volunteers. Small group gatherings of 15 have the feel of an extended family, and groups of five are intimate connections.

These numbers have been seen not only in sociological research but also in church history, Whitesel says. “In the Wesleyan revivals, every leader had to be involved in what they called ‘Band Meetings’ of five individuals. Larger groups of 15 were called ‘Class Meetings.’”

Sub-congregations

Defined:

A sub-congregation is a group within the church, that functions, in Asbury Professor George Hunter’s words, as “a church within a church.” (For a definition of a sub-congregation, click HERE)

Explained:

…I have noted in some of my other wiki- postings (CLICK HERE), that sub-congregations form as a natural “organizational behavior” and that we must recognize them if we are to “manage” their behavior. Thus, I think many students have found it helpful to look at their emerging sub-congregations (which are currently of small group size) so they can manage them into growth and eventually a full-fledged (and larger) sub-congregation.

The idea of sub-congregations is found in church organizational writers such as in my books (2000:25-30; 2007:50-71) as well as:

Eddie Gibbs (I Believe in Church Growth, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981: 276-280),

Pete Wagner (Your Church Can Grow, Oregon, Resource Pub., 2001:101-102 ),

Larry Richards (A New Face for the Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan 1970: 34-35)

George G. Hunter (The Contagious Congregation [Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press] 1979:63) of which Hunter said that every congregation is a really “a congregation of congregations” (p. 63).

Many non-consultant leadership writers are largely unaware to this because they are students of leadership but not necessarily of organizational behavior.  Most management scholars believe that you must first understand an organization’s “behavior” before you try to manage it.  Thus, while working on my Ph.D. at Fuller I had Kent Miller of Michigan State as a professor (he is a Professor of Strategic Management there). Dr. Miller stressed that church leaders often fail at leadership because they don’t first analyze and understand the organizational behavior they are trying to manage.  All that is to say is that the writings on this are not massive (but they should be).

The student also wrote, “But I also notice that the sub-congregations that I do have (boomer’s and GenX) seem to be moving together well – at what point do you beginning looking at their inherent differences and start strategizing for it?’”

SUB-CONGREGATIONS & How To Use Them to Grow a Small Church in Just 6-Steps  Take a look at that posting.  Also, here is a quick synopsis:

1) Locate emerging sub-congregational cultures in the community.

2)  Mentor an indigenous leader from the culture you identified in Step 1 who will bring together a small group for Biblical discipleship of this indigenous culture.

3) Get the existing small group to plant another group like themselves. Don’t try to force them to divide. Rather, encourage them to reach more people by starting another group like themselves at another time or place. This is called “seeding” a new small group, where a couple leaders and a few people volunteer to start this new small group.

4)  Cluster or network your small groups at least once a quarter. By this I mean get your small groups from the same emerging sub-congregation together at least once every three months for unity building.

5)  Create more small groups as new ones approach 12 in attendance.  Use the small group “seeding” strategy of Step 3 above.  And, use Step 4 to keep these new small groups “clustering” once a quarter with other small groups of their cultural sub-congregation.

6)  Once you have a total of 50 people in your small group network, or cluster, create a new and regular worship encounter for them. This then becomes the new worship encounter for this emerging sub-congregation.  (Notice that like John Wesley, small groups [class meetings] are created before big worship gatherings [society meetings].)

I am usually stretching students with ostensibly non-traditional strategies, but the typical strategies (making everyone melt into an indistinct grey-green cultural goo) is not working.  And, the strategy I outlined above is working in churches that are growing amid disinterested and unfriendly cultures, such as St. Thomas’ Church in Sheffield England (http://www.sttoms.net ).

Size How it Affects Organizational Behavior/Structure

McIntosh Typology:

Gary McIntosh in “Taking Your Church to the Next Level: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.”  In the book and conference he outlined Church levels as such:

The Relational Church: 15-200 worshippers
The Managerial Church: 200-400 worshippers
The Organizational Church: 400-800 worshippers
The Centralized Church: 800-1,500 worshippers
The Decentralized Church: 1,500-plus worshippers

Whitesel Typology = McIntosh + Dunbar

Gary McIntosh has helped by delineating different types of churches. But he knows that I disagree with him on one aspect. And that is that you don’t have to have that number of worshipers to be that type of church. In other words, some of us have seen churches that are overly organized in the 150 range. And we have seen churches that exhibit all the hallmarks of the centralized church in the 300 range.

What I think is a key is that churches can be “decentralized” much before they’re up to 1500 worshipers. What Gary is saying is that churches typically are decentralized once they get over 1,500 worshipers.

But, I have seen many churches that are over 1,500 worshipers which really are structured like an organizational church. Gary knows I disagree with him and that is because I tend to work with more different varieties and sizes of churches. But I think the personalities of these five churches are valid … but just not that these personalities are limited to these size ranges.

Now, why is this important?  It is important because the “decentralized church” is for McIntosh the goal of churches.  And, I agree.  I just think you can be “decentralized” for health and growth much earlier … even around 100 attendees.

Continue reading

LEADERSHIP & The Bottleneck Created by Most Decisions Going Through the Lead Pastor

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/19/15.

A recent student lamented that all leaders (both paid, and laity) were always having to ask the senior pastor’s permission on almost all decisions.  “Let’s ask Larry first” was the retort he was growing frustrated at hearing (a pseudonym).  Or perhaps you have said yourself, “Let’s ask the head guy first.”  😉  The student citing Larry was frustrated that all leadership decisions went through the senior shepherd, even many middle-level decisions.  He wondered if the church (which now had several thousand in attendance) might still be functioning as a Simple Structure.  And if so, how could it grow so large and not become a Functional Structure, or a Multi-divisional Structure?

A short description of the three stages of organizational behavior (or just download my chapter on “Organizational Behavior” from Foundations of Church Administration (Beacon Hill Press, 2010).\

Simple Structure Organizational Behavior:  Owner/manager controls all major decisons.  Similar to a mom-and-pop store the organization stays small (usually in a church around 100 attendees).

Functional Structure Organizational Behavior:  Departments “function” as competing silos within the organization.  Their is internal tension and rivalry (churches usually in this stage are usually 100-300 in size).

Multi-divisional Structure Organizational Behavior:  The organization is made up of several sub-organizations that share assets. They aren’t departments, because each has their own departments.  Rather they are called “strategic business units” (SBUs) for they each have a strategic part of the market that they reach.

The quandary my student was facing with his question, had to do with the organizational behavior of the organization as it moves from the Simple Stage, to the Functional Stage, to the Multi-divisional Stage (Schaller would call this the mini-denomination stage).   That progress is the natural and most efficient process for a non-profit organization to go through.  However, sometimes due to many factors a church leader acting as the “owner/manger” (of the Simple Structure) will have grown a church up to several thousands attendees … while still operating it as a Simple Structure.  Clues that this is happening are: the widespread manifestation of the Pareto Principle, people need to “check with the leader” before new directions or course corrections are implemented, and a steady influx/outflow of good subordinate leaders.

Now my old friend, Pete Wagner would argue that this is an example of the apostolic gift of visionary (some would say autocratic) rule.  However, in my work with congregations of all sizes I have found the happiest congregants are in an organization that has a leader who empowers people to make decisions, and develops Vice President-type leaders who oversee their own “divisions” (read “sub-congregations”).

Congregations that are lead by a strong (what has come to be called “apostolic”) leader have a brittleness.  If anything happens to that leader the organization sufferers and looses vital momentum until another semi-autocratic leader emerges.

However, “healthy” organizations are those where multi-divisional structures allows multiple leaders to emerge, modeling their behavior after the senior leader who is a delegator, facilitator and vision-caster.  If a leader leaves, even the CEO, there are skilled subordinates with upper-management experience who can step forward.

You can see, the church in my mind has a long way to go to catch up with the management world’s understanding of organizational behavior and changing leadership styles during growth.   But that is why we have this course!  So you can be on the cusp of helping change the future and viability of our denominations.

CLUSTERS & Why One Growing Church Pastor Believes Most Conversions Take Place There

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/22/15.

To lead an organization you must begin by analyzing how the organization behaves.  It is like a child, you adjust your parenting as they grow and behave differently.  So, to lead a church effectively you must first step back and watch how the organization behaves.

The first step in doing so is to look at how the church is made up of many smaller groupings.  Some of these groupings are small groups (around 12 people, but they can get larger), clusters (groups of 20-75 with an extended family focus) and sub-congregations (group of 30-150, notice the overlap) that function as tribal group focusing (usually) around celebrations.

Students often notice that in small to mid-sized churches (with long histories) the church “clusters” can often be focused around an extended family dynasty in the church.  Here is what student said:

“(Our) adult clusters are comprised of large families, including the Thomas family, Morris Family, Smith Family and a few smaller families (names changed). Each family has either a matriarch or patriarch that has led their family to the ministry.  Membership has grown on the basis of the family head, leading their extended family to the house of God.”

Now that certainly is a cluster.  In fact, Mike Breen (former rector of St. Tom’s Church in Sheffield England where cluster terminology developed) told me in a personal conversation that “Clusters are like the movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  That is because the cluster is made up of many nuclear families, which we call small groups, and this network of nuclear families creates an extended family feel – that’s what we call a cluster” (personal conversation, Peak District, UK, May 2005).

In Mike’s mind you could think of the small groups as each a circular grape, and when you get a bunch of small groups together you got a “cluster” (often sized 30-75).  So, a cluster is a network of small groups linked by a tribal or extended family identity.

But, Mike and his colleague Bob Hopkins felt the key to healthy clusters, is to “missionalize” these clusters is by addressing three elements. Let me explain.

Online you can find the book by Bob Hopkins and Mike Breen titled “Clusters: creating midsized missional communities” (3DMinistries.com and Alderway Publishing). In that book you will find that a healthy cluster needs four elements. The following is from page 43.

REFLECT:

If some of you have existing adult family clusters, then analyze how you think your family clusters are doing at each:

“#1 A place of identity, belonging and ownership… Containing elements of wholeness and maturity.

#2 A point of gathering… In fact a gathering together a small groups in a wider community.

#3 A context of training… The opportunity for all to raise to their capacity beyond the small group.

#4 And lastly embryos… embryo church plants though by no means all will be or should be. This is still intrinsic to the vision.”

LEADERSHIP EXERCISE:

Do you have family dynasties in your church?

So, how are your family groups doing in these four areas?

In which are they weak and what will you do about it?

And tell three (3) things you will do to change this.

You see, I believe God has put family dynasties into our churches to give us health and longevity. And I have seen many of these dear saints go to extra ordinary lengths for Christ and His cause. But, I also believe over time they can stray from God’s call and strategies into protectionism (for good reasons of course). Thus, the job of a leader is to gently and slowly restore these families into fellowship, community and mission.

SUB-CONGREGATIONS & How To Use Them to Grow a Small Church in Just 6-Steps

by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 2/5/15.

Are you the leader of a small church who doesn’t feel you have enough people to launch a new worship service?  Well actually you probably already have the “seeds” of a new worship service within your church.  These “seeds” are “sub-congregations” and they can be multiplied into an additional worship service by following just 6-steps.

Let me explain, leaders in very small churches may feel they do not have a sub-congregation that is large enough to have its own worship celebrations.  I noted in my chapter on “Organizational Behavior” (Foundations of Church Administration, 2010) that “sub-congregations naturally develop as a church passes 100 attendees.”  This however does not mean that you do not need to worry about them until you near 100 attendees.

Foundations COVERIn fact, to get to 100 attendees you usually will need to identify and grow your emerging sub-congregations. Let me explain.

An emerging sub-congregation is usually a group in the church around the size of a large small group (30+ attendees, though in large churches they can number in the 100s).  They are often departments (such as the music department, youth department, etc.), Sunday school classes (with 30+ attendees), or a cultural group.

Sub-congregations will have their own cultural distinctives such as behaviors, ideas and ways they serve and celebrate.  They enjoy one another’s company and they usually see themselves like his (as one person told me): “We are larger than a small group but we’re not the whole church. We are more like a ‘small church’ within the bigger church.”

The temptation is to just ignore such sub-congregations, but they are your building block to growing the church. The key is to identify these emerging sub-congregations and then find out which ones have the most likelihood of growing.  Usually their potential for growth will have to do with the demographics in the community.

Once you identify an emerging sub-congregation that has a potential to grow, you then put more energy and resources into mentoring a leader of this group, expanding it into multiple small groups (rather than the one large small group it usually is already) and giving them their own worship service (once you have 50 people in this sub-congregation).

Here is how these emerging sub-congregations were taking place in one student’s church.  The student wrote;

“We are a church that is averaging 70 people (roughly) this conference year, we do not have an abundance of sub-congregations. There is one definite sub-congregation, and is the women’s Bible study group. They meet every Tuesday morning at the church, and that is only because they became too large for the home they were meeting in. Each week, they have up to 15 women meeting. They are mostly older, with the youngest women in the group being in their fifties…. This group has met for more than the last decade… This group also connects somewhat with the unchurched community … they have been able to reach out to people in their generation that were unchurched…. As far as other sub-congregations, I really do not see any. I thought of one more – those who are in small groups. I hesitate to do this because it takes away from the women’s group, but the other two small groups also have leaders, have a pulse on those outside the church, and are generational.”

To me it looks like there is an emerging sub-congregation comprised of the two small groups that are generationally orientated.  If there are generations like these in the community, then the strategy would be the following:

1) Find out which emerging sub-congregational culture is also growing in the community.  In the example above, it might be that one of these small groups is Boomer and another Postmodern Xers.  If this was the case, then the strategic intention of this church should be to develop one of these small groups into a full-fledged sub-congregation.  The next steps are how you go about doing this.

2)  Mentor an indigenous leader from the culture you identified in Step 1 who will bring together a small group of this indigenous culture.  This will be the spiritual leader and figure-head of this emerging sub-congregation. They should be a mature Christian leader (c.f. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9) who can submit to the lead pastor of the congregation. This is very important, for the church must become a united “multi-cultural” congregation. Thus, the leaders of each cultural sub-congregation must be bridge-builders across cultural gaps.

3) Get the existing small group to plant another group like themselves. This is where the real work takes place.  Often people don’t like to split up their group, so don’t try to force them to divide. Rather, encourage them to reach more people by starting another group like themselves at another time or place. Show them how this will help them reach out to more people of their culture (e.g. generation, ethnicity, etc.) through offering a new small group that newcomers of their culture can fit into.  The best way to start a new small group is to ask the existing small group to be its sponsor, and for anyone who feels led (usually two apprentices from the existing small group) to form the new group. This is called “seeding” a new small group, where a couple leaders and a few people volunteer to start this new small group.

4)  Cluster or network your small groups at least once a quarter. By this I mean get your small groups from the same emerging sub-congregation together at least once every three months for unity building.  Help them build identity, sometimes with a name.  The leader (of Step 2) must be a unifier between the various small groups of the emerging sub-congregation.

5)  Create more small groups as new ones approach 12 in attendance.  Use the small group “seeding” strategy of Step 3 above.  And, use Step 4 to keep these new small groups “clustering” once a quarter with other small groups of their cultural sub-congregation.

6)  Once you have a total of 50 people in your small group network, or cluster, create a new and regular worship encounter for them. This then becomes the new worship encounter for this emerging sub-congregation.  (Notice that like John Wesley, small groups [class meetings] are created before big worship gatherings [society meetings].)

Once COVER Gospel After Christendomyou have reached Step 6, your emerging sub-congregation has officially emerged 🙂

This can be done over and over again, with as many sub-congregations as needed.  I have analyzed some congregations of only 1,000 attendees and found they are comprised up of 7+ sub-congregations (see my chapter “From Gathered to Scattered: Saint Thomas Church of Sheffield” in The Gospel After Christendom, ed. Ryan Bolger (2012).  The key to growing a church, is to strategically spot and develop these emerging sub-congregations. That is how you manage organizational behavior in a church … by growing and leading sub-congregations.

CHANGE & 6 Tests for If a Change Should be Implemented #TomPeters #MatrixOrganizations #McKinseyQuarterly

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Management author Tom Peters points out that an infatuation with newness often gets organizations going in too many directions. While creatively diversifying (labeled a matrix organization) is important for organizational survival, Peters points to six criteria for evaluating if a change should be implemented. Here they are in paraphrased form, followed by highlights from Peter’s seminal article:

There are perhaps six critical tests of the possible (change) thrust:

  • Internal achievability. Can a ‘tradition-oriented’ organization begin to turn itself into a ‘innovation-orientated’ organization in a reasonable span of time, e.g. four to six years?
  • Political feasibility. Can the top team be persuaded to support the innovation thrust?
  • Soundness in competitive or regulatory terms. Is money spent on marketing (1. need-analysis, 2. program creation, 3. advertising, 4. evaluation) a sound investment, e.g. is there a growing or a shrinking market?
  • Freshness. Will it be perceived as a new direction?
  • Early wins. Will it be possible to show some results in the first few months, even though full-scale implementation may take years?
  • Excitement. Can most of the committed people in the organization eventually become enthusiastic about it?

For more insights check out this watershed article by Peters…

Beyond the matrix organization by Tom Peters, McKinsey Quarterly, 9/79
In this Quarterly archive article, Tom Peters examines the flaws of the matrix-organization design and explores several more effective approaches to implement no more than one or two essential corporate thrusts at a time.

art

“Our historical cost advantage is lost; the only way we can stay in the ball game is to optimize our production facilities worldwide.”

“But you can’t close the Livorno plant! The moment you do that, they’ll hit us with special tax regulations.”

“I’m sick and tired of that ‘every country is different’ routine. We’ve got to have a uniform worldwide product image, and that means . . .”

Insoluble conflict? The chief executive of a consumer-goods company decided a few years ago that he saw a way to resolve such differences between managers. He had just read about matrix organizations and concluded that a matrix structure would, in effect, leave managers no option but to interact effectively with each other—not only “vertically” with their line superiors and subordinates, but also “horizontally” with their peers along major financial, geographic, product and/or segment dimensions. Everyone would have to talk to everyone else. The ideal solution, he decided, after much thought. So he took the plunge.

Three years later, however, the company was losing momentum faster than before. Major issues were taking longer to resolve, and the CEO was constantly called in to referee disputes between product-line, geographic, and functional chiefs. Too often, what tardily emerged from the decision process was a lowest-common-denominator political compromise. Top managers were spending more time than ever before in meetings or in airplanes taking them to and from meetings. Gamesmanship and political jockeying were widespread. The volume of detailed analysis, by the CEO’s own careful assessment, had nearly doubled; much of it seemed to be aimed at “nailing” the other guy on trivial points. Buck-passing had become a fine art; the product managers blamed the production people, and vice versa. It was tougher than ever to get products to market; new product opportunities were slipping by time and again because engineering would never let go.

In short, the CEO had never been so frustrated, so aware of managing a bureaucracy. He could no longer pin responsibility for results on anyone, and nobody but him seemed to be worrying about the big picture.

The organizational evolution

Much the same story has been enacted in many large corporations in the past few years. Up through the early 1950s, most companies were functionally organized. The postwar boom and subsequent economic growth led to mushrooming product lines and organizational complexity. During the late 1950s and 1960s, many companies sought to regain control and achieve “product-line rationality” by shedding their traditional functional organizations for a divisional structure based on the model initiated by General Motors and DuPont in the 1920s. For most the move proved successful; strategies became more coherent and divisional managers could be held broadly accountable for their operations.

In the mid-1960s, however, longer-range, more elaborate capital-investment projects called for a partial recentralization of corporate decision making. As a result, neither staff (planning) nor line (division management) could be held clearly responsible for medium- or longer-term performance.

New threats to divisional autonomy had appeared in the 1970s, as requirements imposed by foreign governments hampered businessmen’s efforts to maintain the integrity of their product lines worldwide. At home, proliferating regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other governmental agencies demanded centralized corporate response. Problems arising from product-line growth and attendant shorter life cycles called for more attention by headquarters to various engineering and manufacturing issues.

Typically, business’s response went through three phases. In Phase 1, inspired perhaps by the spectacular success of project management in the Polaris missile program and the even greater triumph of NASA’s moon-shot project, companies first set up “project teams” as a means of securing a coordinated functional, geographic, and divisional response to various current threats. Teams and task forces multiplied, often doubling or tripling in number in the space of a few years. As the teams proliferated, the sense of urgency that had attended their creation began to evaporate, established channels of responsibility and authority began to be blocked or bypassed, and teams began to get in each other’s way. Clearly, something had to be done to regularize matters again.

In Phase 2, matrix was embraced by an influential minority of large and sophisticated companies as the only organizational answer. For some, however, the honeymoon promised by matrix never materialized, as the examples in the exhibit indicate. For others, the honeymoon was quickly succeeded by the disillusionment of Phase 3, the situation described at the beginning of this article. Some CEOs reacted to Phase 3 by calling in behavioral scientists. “Team building” and “conflict management” became the order of the day. But the objectives of these efforts were unclear, and the headaches only got worse. In other companies—mostly giant corporations boasting “advanced” matrix organizations—open conflict was replaced by a silent battle of memos and “economic models.” Organizational Maginot Lines were built. Bureaucracy burgeoned and corporate performance continued to deteriorate.

… The overdetermined matrix

The last point provides an important clue to alternative strategies. Although many forces have chipped away at decentralized product-group autonomy, the divisional structure in some form (GE’s new “sector” organization, for example) remains a reasonably effective vehicle for many organizations because of its underlying efficiencies of information flow…

An emerging consensus

A different and promising approach to what managers have customarily thought of as structural problems is beginning to emerge from current research into the dynamics of large organizations. There emerged a common theme from our interviews: “Stop worrying about permanent structures; concentrate on temporary systems to achieve a limited agenda.”

…There are perhaps six critical tests of the possible thrust:

  • Internal achievability. Can a “cost-oriented” company begin to turn itself into a “product-innovation” leader in three to five years?
  • Political feasibility. Can the top team be persuaded to support the thrust?
  • Soundness in competitive or regulatory terms. Is a marketing thrust a good choice for a high-cost producer in a shrinking market?
  • Freshness. Will it be perceived as a new direction?
  • Early wins. Will it be possible to show some results in the first few months, even though full-scale implementation may take years?
  • Excitement. Can most people from middle management on up eventually become enthusiastic about it?

Once the thrust has been selected, it must be identified and announced. Political scientist Edward Banfield describes one approach: picking out, at the appropriate moment, the best of what is going on in the institution and labeling it as the cornerstone of the chief executive’s program. This may sound like a cheap shot, but frequently the top team can give a theme life and credibility merely by touching on it. Pointing out and praising some aspect of an inconspicuous but significant program is frequently a wise opening move. A study of senior executives by John Kotter and Paul Lawrence unearthed a similar routine: Successful new executives spent a year or so sorting out programs, building constituencies, and seeding new actions; only at the end of that time did they act to “label” their own thrust. Less successful men latched on to the first program they ran into, publicly touted it as their bellwether, and then lost credibility if it failed.

Read more at … http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/organization/beyond_the_matrix_organization

LEADERS and MANAGERS & What Is The Difference (Part 2) by John Kotter

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “One of the first exercises in my leadership course is to have students study the difference between leadership and management. As this article by John Kotter points out, both are required in a successful leader. Yet students seem to prefer studying leadership and overlook the critical ability to put leadership ideas into action by developing management skills too. Here in another seminal article on the importance of leadership and management, John Kotter not only talks about the difference but also how good leaders must develop both.”

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2001/12/what-leaders-really-do/ar/1

ATTENDANCE & A List of Principles That Break the 1,000 & 1,500 Barriers #ElmerTowns #GaryMcIntosh

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “I often ask student-researchers in my Missional Church MISS 600 course to research and compile a list of strategies and tactics to break through different church size barriers.  Below is a list complied by students in churches facing 1,000 and 1,500 size barriers (with their commentary on their perception of the relevance of each strategies/tactics).”

Kenny G. said:

Towns (1998) has suggested 8 issues that churches around 1,000 begin to deal with.

1.     Uncharted Waters – in this section he notes that it is at this point that pastors and boards typically begin to enter areas of leadership that they do not understand and they have trouble spotting the troublesome issues (Towns, Wagner, & Rainer, 1998, Chapter 7, para. 6).j

2.     Growth itself as a barrier – here he notes that the increased number of people leads to more problems because there are more people with more problems which adds layers of complexity (Towns, Wagner, & Rainer, 1998, Chapter 7, para8).

3.     Lack of cohesion in critical mass – At this level, Towns, Wagner, and Rainer (1998) notes that the things that hold the group together begin to become less noticeable and thus, there is a lack of cohesion (Chapter 7, para. 9).

4.     Platform for growth without personal bonding – the church grows because of its platform and not because of personal relationships. This leads to a bit of the revolving door syndrome which keeps new people coming in but not staying (Towns, Wagner, & Rainer 1998, Chapter 7, para. 10).

5.     Space limitation – this one sort of speaks for itself; the church runs out of room for new people (Towns, Wagner, & Rainer, 1998, Chapter 7, para. 13). Park Chapel is dealing with this issue right now.

6.     Change in leadership style – at this level the leadership must shift to a more executive style (Towns, Wagner, & Rainer, 1998, Chapter 7, para. 20).

7.     Limited pastoral leadership – the senior/lead/head pastor must shift his/her focus from ministry directly to the congregation to equipping/training those who will serve the ministries (Towns, Wagner, & Rainer, 1998, Chapter 7, para. 23).

8.     Projection of needs onto the congregation – pastors must look to the diversity of needs in the growing congregation instead of the one or two things that got them to this point (Towns, Wagner, & Rainer, 1998, Chapter 7, para. 29).

Gary McIntosh (2009) offers things that a church must do to get beyond the 1,500 mark.

1.     Adjusting roles of board and staff – the board (in PC’s case, elders) must step out of everyday decision-making and let that be handled by the staff. The board functions as the policy forming, overall budgeting, values, and long-range planning issues (McIntosh, 2009, p. 165)

2.     Adjust staff organization – the senior pastor must change how he/she functions either to more executive-type leadership or to a team of leaders (McIntosh, 2009, p. 166).

3.     Team Building – staff members must shift from being “practitioners” to “team-builders” because the numbers necessitate more hands on ministry than they themselves can provide (McIntosh, 2009, p. 166).

4.     Be a church of small groups – the church must shift from having small groups to be a church of small groups (McIntosh, 2009, p. 167). This allows the congregants to continue to experience the cohesion that is necessary for them to stick around and develop more intimate relationships.

5.     Think beyond the local church – must have a globally minded board (and ministers) because the church’s impact with stretch beyond their local context (McIntosh, 2009, p. 167).

As can be seen, many of these suggestions in McIntosh address the issues raised by Towns, Wagner, and Rainer. This is the best I could come up with – and I apologize for potentially causing my fellow classmates more work.

McIntosh, G. L. (2009). Taking your church to the next level: What go you here won’t get you there [Google Books version]. Retrieved from books.google.com

Towns, E., Wagner, C. P., & T. S. (1998). The everychurch guide to growth: How any plateaued church can grow [Lifeway Reader version]. Retrieved from reader.lifeway.com