My experience has taught me that there are both healthy and unhealthy organizations in the body of Christ.–churches as well as non-profits. Here are some great thoughts from Ron Edmondson on characteristics of healthy organizations. Is there one of these that your church or organization needs to focus on? When will you start? What will you do?
Guest Post by Ron Edmondson
Every healthy organization has certain characteristics in common with one another.
I have worked (and led) in just about every professional context. I don’t have many specialties, but I would contend one of them is organizational leadership. That’s mostly built through experience – good and bad.
1. The review process is empowering.
Most corporate structures have some formal review process in place. Plus, the larger the organization the more prevalent it becomes. However, if you dread it, it’s not a good system.
This one came to me while working in an organization with a terribly burdensome review system. Therefore, it sucked the life out of the building every time the process began.
Whatever system you use – make sure it is not too time consuming and encourages people. Another side note here – people should never have to wait for a review to learn all they’re doing wrong.
2. The rules are limited.
In a similar vein, we all need rules. Speed limits are designed for safety more than swiftness. We could theoretically get places faster with no limits, but they exist because we would all be putting our lives on the line if not for them.
Likewise, organizational rules should be few and limited to what is necessary to keep the organization healthy. Rules should protect more than control. They should make sense to rational people and not be burdensome.
3. Team members are engaged.
People do the work – and they enjoy doing so.
Yet, I realize this is “ideal” and not always the case.
But generally speaking it should be a place people enjoy working.
4. There is competent and courageous leadership.
Ultimately, someone has to move the organization forward. The leader is the one advancing the vision into unchartered territories. This has to be done with a collaboration of collective wisdom. Risks are a necessary part. The “next steps” will seldom be easy and are never guaranteed.
5. Caller ID’s aren’t dreaded.
You know the feeling. Every time that one person’s name pops up on your caller ID something starts to cringe inside of you. Yeah, that. There shouldn’t be too much of this – if any.
And as a leader, I should ask myself periodically if that person on the Caller ID making people cringe is me.
6. Leaders responds well to change.
Change is all around. We can’t avoid it. Healthy organizations have learned to “manage” them without disrupting morale. They are adaptable and flexible as needed – willing to take risks, without over-taxing people for long periods of time.
7. Leaders encourages healthy team members.
In a healthy organization individual health is valued as much as organizational health. Everyone on the team matters and genuinely cares for one another. Consequently, the focus is wholistic – physical, professional, emotional, and spiritual health is considered.
I’d love for you to add a few more.