We, at Holy Cow! Consulting, spend the largest portion of our communication minutes talking about evidence-based leadership, encouraging leaders to engage in a discernment process that integrates organizational intelligence into their leadership decision making.
Organizational intelligence makes something else possible: an evidence-based membership. An evidence-based membership is one that has learned how to integrate organizational intelligence into their behaviors.
For example, a church takes the CAT and discovers that it is in the Recovery Quadrant. In addition, a lack of flexibility appears to be the primary factor inhibiting their vitality.
In a politically-based membership, leaders try to win support for developing a more adaptable culture through their own relational cache. This is a top-down approach that inevitably invites polarization around the local configuration of relational networks.
In an evidence-based membership, the entire congregation confronts its own lack of flexibility, understands the trajectory of that organizational culture, and wrestles with the likely consequences of choosing to become more adaptable or remain settled. The focus of the discernment process shifts from how folks relate to a particular leader or leadership team to how they are going to deal with their own corporate and individual behavior.
The implications of this shift are profound and include:
- Specifying clearer, more concrete changes in behavior for members who are committed to developing a more vital congregation.
- Relieving pressure on young or new clergy who are thrust into systems with politically-based memberships that repeatedly cycle through conflicts that have little to do with him/her.
- Developing change processes that are also bottom-up rather than cascading all change down from the top.
Developing an evidence-based membership requires all the steps of developing an evidence-based leadership, beginning with helping them understand that their biggest problem is that they don’t know what they don’t know.
We are not so naïve to believe that OI will (or should) eliminate the need for the political and relationally based components of leadership. An evidence-based membership frees leaders from spending all their time and energy answering WHY so that they can invest their leadership into WHAT’S NEXT.
Founder of Holy Cow! Consulting