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Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

Gary Hamel: Manage Differently NOW #tls09

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These are some of my notes from the second part of the second session of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit.

The Christian Brand is taking a beating.  We are experiencing the de-churching of America.  We live in an increasingly secular society.  People say their spiritual but not religious.

Questions:  Is the gospel failing us, or our organizations?  Is it God’s message, or our methods?

Our churches have not been powerful magnets for attracting people to God.

Unprecedented changes call for unprecedented innovation

Institutions lose their influence when internal change lags behind external change.

Our problem is inertia and organizational entropy.

Success is often a self-correcting phenomenon.

Every organization is successful until it’s not.  We’re all susceptible to denial.

Pattern of Denial Response:

  • Dismiss
  • Rationalize
  • Mitigate
  • Confront

When an organization misses the future, its usually not because it’s unknowable, it’s usually because it’s unpalatable.

In turbulent times, humility is not just a good character trait, it’s essential.

Make sure you’re listening to the renegades and the dissidents.  Do we welcome dissent?

The future has already happened, but it’s unequally distributed.

We have to come up with new strategies, new models.

It’s the responsibility of every leader to convince people that change is more exciting.

Avoid the temptation to conquer denial.

We are very unlikely to create something new until you are able to deconstruct your current plan

What hasn’t changed for 3-5 years?  Why not?  Because it’s working? Because we haven’t found anything better?  Or are we doing it because we’re all reading the same books, listening to the same consultants, and drinking the same bathwater?

How can we radically innovate?  How can we come up with more radical unconventional ideas?

The longer you’re in the trenches, the easier it is to mistake the edge of your rut for the horizon.

Are you more committed to radical redemption than to your programs?

Loss happens when the mental models of the leadership team are depreciating, but they still have all their power.  They then hold the institutions capacity to change captive to their own (un)willingness to change.

Gore-Tex company:

  1. You get to be a leader when people ask you to be their leader.
  2. Commitment is always voluntary.  You can say “no” to whatever you want.

“I’m working exactly on what I want to work on, and I’m working flat out.”

Most management models were not built to be dynamic.

Natural hierarchies with natural leaders.

I find it ironic that most churches are trying more and more to become like corporations while more and more corporations are trying to become movements.

The early church was spiritually powerful but institutionally weak, and most of our churches are exactly the opposite.


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