I recently circulated John Beckford’s blog challenging some of the ways in which organisations delay or avoid necessary changes. I got positive feedback from several people but also this comment: “I think much more management consultancy needs to attend to delivery and some of the deeper resistances that lie within any one of us. The how-to seems critical”. As I said to my correspondent at the time, that gives me a clear steer on the subject for my next blog. Here is a link to John’s blog – I see my response to my reader’s comments very much as a companion piece: https://intelligentorganisation.com/uncategorised/toddler-steps-change-management/
So, for this blog we will assume that the organisational leadership has recognised the need to make a significant change but feels concern about the extent to which such a project will be supported or meet resistance from individuals and groups in the organisation, including, perhaps, those in leadership at the next level down in the hierarchy. How should those leading change proceed? Continue reading →
The Church of England has recently published five reports outlining what it plans to do to respond to the reality of serious and prolonged numerical decline in attendance, under the overall title of Reform and Renewal. I am both encouraged and relieved that the Church has recognised the need to take urgent and serious action to counter five and a half decades of sustained reduction in the number of people attending Church. Continue reading →
In the Church Times last week Martyn Percy criticised the Church’s use of ‘secular models of organisation” under the headline ‘It’s not an organisation, it’s the Body of Christ’. (See: http://goo.gl/EznDGa for the original article – you may need to be a subscriber to read it in full) Here is my response, which may or may not also appear in the letters column of the Church Times!
The first thing is to say that if the use of organisational thinking indeed results in the intrusion of a rootless commercialism, over-simplification of complex ideas, an instrumental culture of objectives and results or a tendency to bureaucracy then I don’t want it either. I share the concern that there is already too much bureaucracy: this, to me, is an example of how the Church is adept at borrowing the less appropriate and attractive features of the secular world! The Church can feel over-administered and under-powered as a result. This can be remedied partly by a renewal in spiritual practice and in theology – but also by a richer understanding of the learning that is around about organisations. Continue reading →
“The difficulties facing the Church create heavy daily burdens and dilemmas for those whose task it is to lead the Church. There is a cost associated with the confusion and uncertainty that exists. Continue reading →
In my experience Church people are suspicious of the language of management and business – and I can see why, even if I think the antipathy is sometimes misplaced. In recommending ideas and practices that hail, in part, from that quarter, I am far from doing so uncritically. What worries me more is the extent to which 1. the Church adopts the most bureaucratic practices from the Civil Service and others and 2. uses theological language as a way of avoiding reality…What follows is the first of a series of extracts from my new book, “Creating the Future of the Church”.
“‘Management speak’ is not attractive and it is an easy target for the media and clergy alike. Continue reading →