Organizational Complexity, And, Getting Ever-More Complex – Some Thoughts…


I’m just thinking about complexity, because…

I’m speaking to an executive leadership team for a large church this week.

They are working on their understanding of the new “organizational structure of their modern day, multi-staffed church.”

In the old days, structure was less complex.

Marcus Welby did much of his work alone
Marcus Welby did much of his work alone

Marcus Welby M.D.  pretty much worked alone. But Dr. Gregory House, pretty quirky himself, had to lead a quirky team of doctors.

House needed a team -- if his team was not available, he would recruit anybody to make up a team on the spot
House needed a team — if his team was not available, he would recruit anybody to make up a team on the spot

W.E. Sangster, the Pastor of Methodist Central Hall during World War II – (Methodist Central Hall is right across from Westminster Abbey in London, and the building hosted the first ever meeting of the United Nations) – pretty much served as simple preacher/pastor, not as strategic-planning pastor — not as leader (the equivalent of CEO)  of a large multi-staff organizational structure.

Today, structure is much, much more complex.  In every organization.

W. E. Sangster functioned as a simple preacher - not as a CEO of a large London church
W. E. Sangster functioned as a simple preacher – not as a CEO of a large London church

But, the complexity is needed. Though the leader (probably) knows more than any one member of the team, the team — (and then, all the teams throughout) — together, with the leader, knows more than just the leader alone can ever know.

And, there is too much to do for any one person.

The greater complexity is a greater challenge. But also, greater opportunity.

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