- Individual autonomy and self direction
- The importance of taking everyone’s view into account
- Curiosity about human thought
- High, but relativistic, moral values
- A commitment to social justice
- Radical egalitarianism
In short, we are typically strong minded individuals who have banded together around a few key values: among them inclusion, justice, and exploration. While this makes for a terrific group of people, it can lead to very interesting organizational challenges. Our autonomy can clash with a need for organization. The importance of taking everyone’s viewpoint in account can result a paralysis in making decisions or decisions that satisfy the lowest common denominator. Our egalitarianism can undermine leadership and result in not deferring to people with knowledge and life experience.
The next few posts use a few key concepts to suggest some useful tools in leading a church in a culture as diverse as ours. Hopefully at the end of this series people will have a few new ways of looking at their role as leaders and have some practical tools to apply to church leadership.
The first concept to introduce is the notion of the chaordic organization. The Wikipedia entry for “chaordic” states:
The portmanteau chaordic refers to a system that blends characteristics of chaos and order. The term was coined by Dee Hock.
The mix of chaos and order is often described as a harmonious existence displaying characteristics of both, with neither chaotic nor ordered behavior dominating. Some hold that nature is largely organized in such a manner; in particular, living organisms and the volutionary process by which they arose are often described as chaordic in nature. The chaordic principles have also been used as guidelines for creating human organizations -- business, nonprofit, government and hybrids -- that would be either hierarchical nor anarchic.
- It is now powered from the periphery but unified at the core
- It is based on clarity of shared purpose and principles
- It enables and empowers its constituent parts
- It is durable in purpose, but malleable in form and function
- It has distributed power, rights and responsibility
- It should liberate and amplify ingenuity, initiative and judgment
- It is compatible with and fosters diversity, complexity and change; and
- It restrains power and embeds authority in persons vested with accomplishing the tasks.
© 2007. Matthew W. Wesley. All rights reserved.