We have vaccinations for the flu, pneumonia, shingles and a host of other health woes. Wouldn’t it be great if we could vaccinate our organizations against painful and sometimes deadly outcomes? Here are 6 actions to take to vaccinate your organization against decline.
1. Find wise counsel and listen to it.
The book of Proverbs found in the Bible refers to the importance of wisdom and wise counsel many times. If you want to protect yourself and your organization, ensure you have people who can provide wisdom to you and then make sure you listen to it! Team members already on your team, peer groups, and professional consultants can all add value in providing wise counsel.
2. Recruit talent and retain it.
If you want to protect your organization from decline, it will require finding and keeping the best people. There is currently a supply shortage of the talent needed by many organizations. Talented employees are getting harder to find, and it will require intentional effort to retain them. And remember, talent attracts talent. The healthier and more effective you are as a leader, the more likely you are to attract talent.
3. Build and guard cash reserves.
Churches, businesses and nonprofits have at least one thing in common – they often don’t have enough cash reserves to endure a lengthy crisis. To vaccinate your organization, build cash reserves and then guard those reserves from the many ideas and hands that will try to withdraw from them. Withdrawals may be needed one day, but they better be for good reason.
4. Take a risk but test it.
You may think that in order to guard against decline you should avoid risk. Wrong! Not taking risks is a surefire way to set your organization on the path of slow but sure decline. To ensure your organization does not enter into decline, you need to continually learn of the emerging trends, potential disruptions, and unique opportunities that could meet your needs – but test the idea before investing everything into it. In other words, beta-test it!
5. Change out people who don’t fit rather than avoid the issue.
One of the hardest decisions leaders have to make is to transition out a person who is not a fit for the position, is not a fit for the organization’s culture, or does not possess the level of skill that is now needed. However, if you have invested in the person’s success and their performace is still not good enough, avoiding the change will put your organization at risk and can even put the individual at risk by having to change him or her out later and older.
6. Look accurately at yourself and deal with it.
Last but definitely not least, we need to look at ourselves as leaders and determine if we are leading at the level that is needed. Are we a source of health, vision and inspiration in our team organization? Or increasingly a source of irritation, insecurity and control? If you want to vaccinate your organization from decline, the first step may be to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Why would anyone want to be led by me?”
The Center consultants are experienced in helping organizations grow and thrive. Contact us to speak with one of our consultants to learn how you can better vaccinate your organization against decline!
Jay Desko is the Executive Director of The Center and serves on the Senior Leadership Team at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Jay brings experience in the areas of ministry assessment, leadership coaching, decision-making, and strategic questioning. Jay’s degrees include a B.S. in Bible, a M.Ed in Instructional Systems Design and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership.